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THE ""•'■■• ■■■'
A LETTER. WRITTEN SEVEN
YEARS AFTER THE CRUCI-
FIXION. BY A PERSONAL
FRIEND OF JESUS IN JERU-
SALEM. TO AN ESSEER
BROTHER IN ALEXANDRIA.
SUPPLEMENTAL HARMONIC SERIES
INDO-AMERICAN BOOK CO.
5705 South Boulevard
INDO-AMERICAN BOOK Ca
Introduction by T. K 9
Preface by the Translator 15
Description of Jesus 23
Death- Warrant of Jesus 27
Letter from an **Esseer'' in Jerusa-
lem to his Brethren in Alexandria. 31
Closing Eemarks of the German Trans-
The Order of the Essees among the
Jewish People 151
A brief explanation is due the reader
before he proceeds to a perusal of the most
interesting Letter which follows the
Preface to this little volume.
The English translation of the ancient
Latin copy of the Letter was made by a
German. It is evidenced on every page of
his translation that he was not sufficiently
acquainted with the English language to
make a good English translation.
This suggestion has reference to the
literary form of his work as a translator,
and not to the substance of the text. There
can be no doubt that he has preserved the
meaning of the original manuscript with
But in many places he has made use of
English expressions which are crude and
quite out of keeping with our present
understanding of cultured literary form.
12 The Crucifixion
For this reason I have deemed it advis-
able to revise his rendition of the text in
such manner as somewhat to remove the
rough corners of his work, and present to
the reader the exact substance of the An-
cient Letter in a little better English form.
In no sense have I changed its meaning,
and in many places have refrained from
substituting my own method of expression
where his rendition is more or less crude
and lacking in elegance of diction. My re-
vision of his translation, therefore, is not
as complete as it might have been made had
his method of expression been discarded
My purpose has been to place the exact
substance of the Ancient Letter before the
reader in such language as to make it en-
tirely intelligible, and at the same time
preserve as much of the translator's own
form of expression as possible. I believe I
No changes whatsoever have been made
in the ** Closing Remarks of the German
Translator/' nor in **Part 11." My revi-
sion, therefore, is confined entirely to the
** Letter'' of the Esseer in which he tells
his brethren in Alexandria the true story
of the Crucifixion, and gives them the facts
and incidents connected therewith, as he
The following additional facts concern-
ing the German translation may be of in-
terest to the reader in this connection :
It was published in this country in 1873.
For reasons which the intelligent reader
will doubtless understand as he proceeds,
the book was withdrawn from publication
at once upon its appearance. The plates
were destroyed, and it was supposed that
all the published copies of the book were
likewise disposed of.
Fortunately, however, one copy found its
way into the possession of a prominent
Mason in the state of Massachusetts. There
it remained securely until accidentally dis-
covered by his daughter some time during
the early summer of the present year
14 The Crucifixion
This lady, knowing my interest in things
Masonic, kindly sent me the copy for ex-
amination. I at once recognized its remark-
able nature and supreme value and
Immediately was started* an inquiry
through a number of the most prominent
book houses and publishing concerns, to
ascertain if other copies of the little book
could be found. At the same time inquiry
was made to ascertain if the official copies
of the book were still on file in the Con-
To my surprise, not another copy of the
book can be found, after some four months
of diligent search.
The most remarkable phase of the mat-
ter seems to be, that the official copies which
were deposited with the Librarian of Con-
gress, in compliance with the Law of Copy-
rights, have also disappeared At any
rate, in reply to inquiry, the report comes
back that no such book is to be found in
the Congressional Library.
If this be true, it would then appear that
the copy from which the following revision
was made is, without doubt, the only copy
To be sure, the Latin MS., from which
the translation into English was made, is
still in existence, and is in the hands of
the Masonic Fraternity in Germany, where,
no doubt, it will remain securely guarded
from Anti-Masonic vandalism.
The vital nature of the document cannot
fail to impress itself upon the intelligent
reader and student of religious history.
And it is sincerely to be hoped that it will
not suffer another eclipse.
TK, Author of '^ The Great Work."
Chicago, November, 1907.
L r^ r
A member of the Abyssinian Mercantile
Company discovered in Alexandria an
ancient house, formerly occupied by Gre-
cian friars, in whose library — to oblivion
abandoned — ^was found an old parchment.
A French literate, accidentally present, at
once commenced deciphering it: but a mis-
sionary, in the ardor of fanatical ortho-
doxy, tried by all means to destroy the
antique document. But the efforts of the
Jesuit missionary do not seem to have been
successful, as a copy of the Latin original
was written, which copy, through the Free-
masons, found its way into Germany.
It has been proved from the archeologi-
cal discoveries made on the spot, that the
house where the parchment was found was
owned and occupied by the Order of
'^Esseens." Further, that the document
found was the only remains of literature
18 The Crucifixion
from the once well-filled library of this
scientific and religious Order or Brother-
The French literate, who first conceived
the importance and historical worth of the
manuscript, tried hard to enrich the French
Academy with the original, but, owing to
the intrigues of the Jesuit mission in Egypt
(bent on destroying a document so detri-
mental to their doctrine), he was not suc-
cessful; although it was preserved princi-
pally through the interference of influen-
tial Abyssinian merchants and Pythagori-
cal Societies, from whom the copy above
spoken of came into the possession of the
modern institution of Freemasons, and a
society in Germany now possesses, without
doubt, the only copy in existence.
As regards the discovered antique docu-
ment, it consisted of a letter which the
so-called '^Terapeut'* (the elder), the high-
est esteemed member of the Brotherhood,
had written to his brethren in Alexandria,
in the name of the Brotherhood in Jeru-
salem. This letter was written by him only
a few years after the death of Jesus, giving
a full description of the life, doctrine and
death of Jesus, who the letter proves to
have belonged to and been a member of
Eumors of his miracles, and finally of his
martyrdom, had also reached Alexandria,
and as the brethren there had a conviction
that he was their brother, preached their
doctrines, used their sign of recognition,
and lived in accordance with their rules,
they manifested a desire to be informed on
the subject, as to the real truth of the
To obtain this information, their leader,
or **Terapeut," had written a letter to his
colleague in Jerusalem, who in reply wrote
the letter from which we obtain a clear and
truthful account of this important and in-
teresting subject. It is a fact, which never
has been doubted by those familiar with
ancient history, that the Esseers always
spoke and wrote the strictest truth; and
20 The Crucifixion
this, added to their moral and scientific
lives, puts an end to any doubt as to the
correctness and genuineness of the infor-
mation given in the ancient discovered
Although not at first organized among
the Jews, this Order existed already in the
days of the '*Maccabai"; and with them it
assumed more of a national outward form,
at the same time maintaining most of the
ancient pythagoraeical doctrines. Most of
the members were agriculturists and gar-
deners, and assembled together to promote
virtue and wisdom among themselves. Fur-
thermore, they devoted themselves, espe-
cially in the higher degrees, to the art of
healing, induced thereto through their
studies of nature and art, and were well
acquainted with the effects of most then
known plants and minerals for recruiting
the human system. This knowledge they
made useful by healing and comforting the
They were true communists, and all put
their gains into the common treasury. Be-
fore sunrise they never spoke to each other
of earthly matters, but met in prayer at
break of day. Having taken their morning
meal and put on a peculiar kind of work-
ing clothes, they proceeded to their place
of work. At noon they again came to-
gether, and, having washed their hands and
feet and dressed themselves in clean white
robes, they ate their dinner together.
According to their moral standing and
ability, they were divided into four classes
or degrees. In the first degree were espe-
cially adopted children (the **Esseens^'
hardly ever married), but in case an adult
wished to be admitted into their Order, it
was necessary to go through a very severe
moral trial for the term of three years.
It was strictly prohibited for a member
of high degree to divulge any of the secrets
of his degree to any of lower rank.
The punishment for such a trespass was
expulsion from the Brotherhood. Nothing
but a strictly moral life, wisdom, godliness.
22 The Crucifixion
and excellency in science, entitled to the
higher degrees. In their domestic life they
exercised hospitality and benevolence, kept
the rules of the Order strictly, and never
took any interest or part in politics or revo-
lutions. Thus they showed a thoroughly
Their greeting and sign of recognition
was, * * Peace be with you. ' ' At their meals
they broke the bread and passed the cup,
and worshipped ** Jehovah''; but never
made any sacrifice in the temple, but per-
formed their ceremonies in their homes.
They knew no higher virtue than to suffer
and die for their belief. Accordingly, death
did not terrify them, as they believed the
spirit a prisoner in the body, to be released
through death, then to return to the celes-
tial glory. Deceit and profanity were con-
sidered grave sins (as well as quarreling
and vengeance), and looked upon with
This Order, of which the present Free-
masonry is the modem issue, was at the
time of Jesus widely diffused through Pal-
estine and Egypt, and had their colonies
scattered all over the country. They always
kept up a congenial fraternal feeling in
their meetings, and gave each other infor-
mation about the affairs of the Brother-
hood. They counted among their members
men of all professions and stations in
society, and although comprising a great
many learned men and rich persons (who
sometimes found it in their interest to keep
this secret), they never excluded the poor
nor persons in moderate circumstances.
Thus we have all reasons to credit this
letter, dictated by the love of truth, and
written by a man who had been an eye-
witness to most of the important transac-
tions in the life and death of Jesus, who,
as a member of their Order, was embraced
by them with all the fraternal devotion of
the Order. The Translator.
DESCRIPTION OF JESUS
BY HIS CONTEMPORAEY, PUBLIUS LENTULUS,
WHO WAS THE PKEDECESSOR OF PONTIUS
PILATE AS GOVERNOR OF JUDEA
A man of noble stature and of very
beautiful countenance, in which such
majesty resides that those who look on
him are forced to admire him.
His hair is of the color of a fully ripe
chestnut, and from his ear down his shoul-
ders it is of the color of the earth, but
shining. It is parted in the middle of his
forehead, after the maimer of the Naza-
His forehead is smooth and very serene,
his face free from wrinkle and spot, and
with a slight color.
The nostrils and lips cannot reasonably
be found fault with.
26 The Crucifixion
The beard is thick, and, like the hair, not
very long, and divided in the middle.
There is a look of terror in his grave
eyes. The eyes are like the rays of the
sun, and it is impossible to look him stead-
ily in the face on account of their brilliancy.
When he reproves, he terrifies ; when he
admonishes, he weeps. He makes himself
loved, and is gravely cheerful. It is said
that he was never seen to laugh, but he was
seen to weep.
His hands and arms are very beautiful.
In conversation he is charming, but he
seldom engages in it; and when he does
converse, he is very modest of countenance.
In presence he is the most beautiful man
that could be seen or imagined; just like
his mother, who is the most beautiful young
person that was ever beheld in these parts.
In learning he is an object of wonder to
the entire city of Jerusalem. He never
studied at all, and yet he knows all sciences.
Description of Jesus 27
He wears sandals, and goes bareheaded.
Many laugh at seeing him ; but in his pres-
ence, and when speaking to him, they fear
It is said that such a man was never
seen or heard in these parts. In truth, as
the Hebrews tell me, there never were
heard such advices, such sublime doctrine
as this Christ teaches; and many of the
Jews hold him for divine, and they believe
in him, while many others accuse him to me
as being contrary to thy majesty.
It is acknowledged that he has never
done harm to any one, but good. All that
know him and have had dealings with him,
say that they have received from him bene-
fits and health.
The foregoing description is condensed
from a letter written by Publius Lentulus,
then Governor of Judea, to Tiberius CaBsar,
Emperor of the Eomans.
DEATH-WAREANT OF JESUS
SENTENCE EENDEEED BY PONTIUS PILATE,
ACTING GOVERNOR OF LOWER GALILEE,
STATING THAT JESUS OF NAZARETH
SHALL SUFFER DEATH ON THE
In the year seventeen of the Emperor
Tiberius Caesar, and the 27th day of March,
in the city of the holy Jerusalem — Annas
and Caiaphas being priests, sacrificators of
the people of God — Pontius Pilate, Gov-
ernor of Lower Galilee, sitting in the presi-
dential chair of the praetory, condemns
Jesus of Nazareth to die on the Cross be-
tween two thieves, the great and notorious
evidence of the people saying :
1. Jesus is a seducer.
2. He is seditious.
3. He is the enemy of the law.
30 The Crucifixion
4. He calls himself falsely the Son of
5. He calls himself falsely king of Israel.
6. He entered into the Temple followed
by a multitude bearing palm-branches in
Orders the first Centurion, Quilius Cor-
nelius, to lead him to the place of execution.
Forbids any person whomsoever, either
poor or rich, to oppose the death of Jesus
The witnesses who signed the condemna-
tion of Jesus are :
1. Daniel Eobani, a Pharisee.
2. Joannus Eobani.
3. Eaphael Eobani.
4. Capet, a citizen.
Jesus shall go out of the city of Jeru-
salem by the gate of Struenus.
The foregoing is engraved on a copper
plate, on the reverse side of which is writ-
ten: '* A similar plate is sent to each tribe."
It was found in an antique marble vase,
The Death Warrant 31
while excavating in the ancient city of
Aquila in the kingdom of Naples, in the
year 1810, and was discovered by the Com-
missioners of Arts of the French Army.
At the expedition of Naples, it was en-
closed in a box of ebony and preserved in
the sacristy of the Chartem (Certosa).
The French translation was made by the
Commissioners of Arts.
The original is in the Hebrew language.
FROM AN "ESSEER" IN JERUSALEM TO
HIS BRETHREN IN ALEXANDRIA
PEACE be with you dear brethren I
You have heard of the things that
have happened in Jerusalem and Palestine
in general. You were right to believe Jesus
to be our Brother and a member of our
Order, of whom his friends among the Eo-
mans and Jewish people relate, that he
taught and wrought great wonders, and
finally suffered the death of martyrs in
He was born in Nazareth, by the entrance
to the beautiful valley into which the river
**Kisson" rushes down the steep declivi-
ties of the Mount Tabor. He was put under
the protection of the Order by a member
of our Brotherhood, by whom his father
and mother found a refuge on their flight
to Egypt. There are, as you know, many
of our brethren living on the borders of
In fine, Jesus was admitted into the
36 The Crucifixion
Order at the same time with John in their
years of early manhood. He lived then in
Galilee and had just returned from a visit
to Jerusalem, where he was watched by our
Brotherhood. Jutha was the place of his
initiation, close by the grand castle of Mas-
seda, where the mountains raise their lofty
peaks above the surrounding country.
My dear Brethren, you may all have
been convinced that he has been a member
of our Order, as well by the doctrines he
has taught the people, and his signs of rec-
ognition, especially the baptism and the
breaking of the bread and passing of the
wine, as well as by his being baptized by
one of our brethren, John, in Jordan, near
the shore of the Dead Sea, in a westerly
direction — for baptism, as you know, has
been, since time immemorial, a sacred insti-
tution in our Order.
You wonder that the belief in the super-
natural and miracles should gain foothold
in our midst, when you know that we all
have to bear the responsibility for the ac-
tions of one of our members.
The Letter 37
Therefore, you ought to know that the
rumor is like a wind. When it commences
it drives the pure air far ahead, but in its
progress it receives all vapors and mist
from the earth, and when it has traveled
some distance it creates darkness instead
of the clear pure air of which it was at
first composed, and at last consists solely
of the particles it has received during its
It is even so with the rumors concerning
Jesus and his fate.
Furthermore, remember that the in-
spired men, who have written and spoken
of him, were often carried away by the
spirit of enthusiasm, and in their devotion
and simplicity they believed all the things
told them about him by the multitudes who
were even more simple-minded and super-
stitious than they.
Bear ever in mind also that, in accord-
ance with our rules, the secrets of our holy
Brotherhood at all times remained un-
known to these writers, and that only our
88 The Crucifixion
higher members had any knowledge about
the secret assistance and protection Jesus
received from us.
And, finally, do not forget that our rigid
laws prohibited us from interfering or
taking any active part in the councils or
plans of the rulers of the land.
Therefore we have acted quietly and
secretly, and have suffered the law to run
its course; at the same time we secretly
aided and assisted our friend in ways which
did not infringe the law and our rules.
Know then that Jesus was and is our
* * Brother, ' ' and himself vowed, when he at
Jutha was made an initiate of our Order,
that our Brotherhood thenceforth should
be to him as father and mother; and truly
we have proved us so in the spirit and the
letter of our law.
I write this to you, my Brethren, in the
truth and knowledge of our Brotherhood,
that you may know and understand the
truth concerning what has come to pass.
I tell you only of the things I know, and I
The Letter 39
have seen it all with mine own eyes and
have taken a deep interest and an active
part in all these transactions.
' Now, at the time that I write this to you,
the Jews have seven times eaten of the
lamb of the passover since our Brother was
crucified, our Brother whom we all loved
and in whom God was glorified. Neverthe-
less I have forgotten none of the things
I have lived to see come to pass. Indeed,
as true as are the words that pass from
my lips, and the thoughts that I write, as
verily do I believe from the depths of my
soul, that Jesus was chosen of God and
begotten by the Eternal Spirit. He called
himself the son of God, and he proved him-
self to us by teaching in the name of God.
He also lived a holy life, and was deeply
learned in the secrets of all the kingdoms
of nature. In all these things we of the
secret Brotherhood acknowledge God; and
the man among us who can say : * * Behold,
I am of God,'' verily he is so ; for he that is
not cannot say it, not having the word in
40 The Crucifixion
his heart, and not having learned it from
I will now tell you of the parentage of
this man, who loved all men, and for whom
we feel the highest esteem, that you may
have full knowledge of him.
He was from his infancy brought up
for our Brotherhood. Indeed, he was pre-
dicted by an ^^Esseer" whom the woman
thought to be an angel. This woman was
given to many imaginings, delving into the
supernatural and into the mysteries of life,
and she found deep interest and pleasure
in the things she could not explain.
Our Brother, the **Esseer," has acknowl-
edged to us his part in these things, and
has persuaded the Brotherhood secretly to
search for and protect the child.
And Joseph, who was a man of great
experience in life, and deep devotion to the
immortal truth, through a messenger of
our Order was influenced not to leave the
woman nor to disturb her faith in the
sacredness of her experience, and to be a
The Letter 41
father to the child until our Brotherhood
should admit him as a novice.
Thus, during their flight to Egypt,
Joseph was secretly protected and guided
by our Order and conducted as a guest to
the congregated Brotherhood by the Mount
**Cassius,'' at the slope of the mount, on
which the Eomans have built a temple dedi-
cated to Jupiter. The **Esseers" who
lived there were commissioned to intro-
duce Joseph, his wife and the child into
their congregation, that they might see our
way of worshiping and praising God, **the
Creator of all, ' ' and learn the ceremony of
eating the consecrated bread and drinking
the holy wine.
At our request they informed our
Brotherhood in Jerusalem how it all had
been done. Joseph was placed among the
half -circle of men on the right hand, and
Mary, his wife, among the women on the
left hand. There they, with our Brethren,
ate the bread and drank the wine, and all
together sang the holy hymns.
42 The Crucifixion
Further, Joseph here vowed before the
elder of our Brotherhood, that he re-
nounced forever any claim on the child who
was thenceforth to belong to the Order. He
was then made acquainted with the saluta-
tion and sign of the holy Brotherhood,
which would enable him during his travels
to make himself known to these. They also
directed him which route to take to arrive
This route was through a part of the
country where there lived many enlightened
and learned Jews who were well versed in
the Scriptures, and devoted to study.
Among these our Order has many mem-
bers. These were ordered to protect
Joseph and be hospitable to him, even be-
fore he arrived among them. This was in
the beautiful country of Heliopolis with its
splendid forests, and near unto the temple
of Jehovah, erected by Onias.
When the peril in Galilee was over and
the Eoman ** Warns" was pillaging in
Judea, making that country unsafe, Joseph
The Letter 43
went to Nazareth, which is situate near by
the steep mount of Tabor.
But soon Archelaus brought new terror
over Galilee, and Joseph was persuaded by
our brethren to go to Jerusalem — on his
way passing *^Luhem'' — and there seek
protection by our Brotherhood. This was
duly accomplished, and at passover they
arrived at ^^Nisan."
Here I myself spoke with them. I was
then in the lower degree of the Order, and
in obedience to the command of the elder
carried a message to Joseph. I found him
to be a man of candor and wide experience
who spoke with great judgment and wis-
dom. Indeed, he exhorted Mary to describe
distinctly the differences between reality
and dreamy imagination, things as differ-
ent as the day is from the night, and in-
structed her how to quiet her mind through
prayer and devotion.
Her mind was filled with fiery imagin-
ings that often lifted her thoughts to heav-
enly things and made her indifferent to
44 The Crucifixion
tlie things of the earth. In consequence she
strongly influenced the mind of her son to
the study and contemplation of immortal
Joseph commended her for her good
influence over the child. He also instructed
Jesus in knowledge and wisdom, and pro-
tected his pure mind against the power of
And when the child Jesus spoke with the
scribes concerning holy things his doctrines
gave deep offense to the Pharisees in Jeru-
salem, in that they considered them dan-
gerous and incredible.
Inasmuch as the Pharisees held rigidly
to the traditions and details of the law of
Moses, they were deeply aggrieved against
every one who did not believe with them,
and who did not keep in outward form to
the ceremonials of their temple service.
They gave alms in the sight of the multi-
tudes. They taught of ^HJie kingdom of the
dead/' of the influence of good angels and
evil spirits, and of the future grand eternal
The Letter 45
destiny of the Jewish people. Although
they had many friends among the common
people, and exercised great power and in-
fluence with them; nevertheless, the Spirit
of God dwelt neither in their houses nor on
But Joseph had come to be of our doc-
trines, and without figures or mysteries he
fixed them in the mind of the growing child.
Indeed, the child thus early was touched
by the miseries of the people, and they
were enraptured to hear him teach the
word of God. The Scribes knew him to be
from Galilee, and they despised him as
they despised the whole people of Galilee.
But some of our brethren went to the
temple, and without betraying themselves
through our holy salutation, kept him in
their midst, that they might thus protect
When the divine child had spoken pub-
licly, in the temple, then were our brothers
apprehensive of the dangers that threat-
ened him ; for they knew that the Pharisees
46 The Crucifixion
and the Eabbis were in private council
fully determined to banish him from Gali-
lee because of his doctrines. They there-
fore lured him to the synagogue of
Sopherim by manifesting to him an as-
sumed interest in the law, for they per-
ceived that in all his ardor and enthusiasm
he was influenced by nothing else.
Thus it came to pass that he was lost
from his father and mother in the large
city which then contained many people
from the whole country, because of the
Our friends, the Esseers, were informed
of these things, and they saw that it was
not safe nor wise for the child to remain
longer among the Pharisees, as much more
as a Rabbi, who had become a true friend
and teacher to the child, no more could be
present to moderate his zeal and ardor,
contending as he was with the immoral
hypocrites, as the Rabbi had gone on a
journey to Jericho.
Therefore we informed Joseph and his
The Letter 47
-wife, whom we found in double grief inas-
much as they at the time also had been in-
formed that the husband of Elizabeth,
Mary's friend, had died. Thus, for three
days Mary had been searching for her son,
in deep sorrow, and at the same time she
felt a strong desire to go and see her
friend. At last, on the fourth day, she
found her son at Sopherim, according to
the information given her by our Brethren.
And Nabbin, the Eabbi who had taken
such deep interest in the child, was a secret
member of our Order, and had received
instructions to protect him.
Thus it came to pass that Mary, her hus-
band and her son returned to Jutha.
Here she found her friend Elizabeth in
great grief, with her son, whose name was
Here the two youths were much together,
and together they talked much about the
sacred and the divine. Oft they wandered
into the wildest parts of the mountain re-
gions. They grew to be devoted friends,
48 The Crucifixion
and their attachment ripened into intimate
acquaintance with each other in their
search for truth.
John, who was the son of Zacharias, had
already received the doctrines of the Naza-
renes as regards reservedness, and he knew
perfectly the Scriptures and traditions, but
comprehended not the beautiful and the
exalted in this world, nor the laws of na-
ture, as well as Jesus. He felt great dis-
like for the customs of the heathens, and
despised and hated all tyrants.
And the time had come when Jesus
should be admitted into the first degree of
our Order. And in the valley our Order
had a Brotherhood, situate near the moun-
tain where the castle Masseda stands, and
the elder of our Brotherhood met them
there, and listened to their conversation.
He taught them that wisdom and virtue
are strengthened by fraternity ; whereupon
Jesus, in a transport of great joy, asked
that he might be prepared at once for ad-
mittance into our holy Order. The exam-
The Letter 49
pie set by Jesus was followed by John, and
the elder offered up a prayer which made
Jesus a devotee of God.
According to the rules of our Order, the
elder now said : * * You shall be my breth-
ren as soon as you, by the next new moon,
shall see the glare of the fire on the moun-
tain where the temple is built, and where
you then will appear. He that is initiated
into our Order must at the same time dedi-
cate his life to the service of others. Tell
your father Joseph that the time is now
come for him to fulfil the vow he made at
The Esseer then departed. But when the
child had returned to his home Joseph was
already remembered of his vow and of his
duties to our brethren.
Joseph then, for the first time, made
known to Jesus that he was not his father.
Together they kept secret the admission
of Jesus into our Brotherhood, for fear of
At the appointed time they saw, in the
50 The Crucifixion
evening, the fire signal ascend from the
mountain, whereupon they immediately set
forth to journey thither. When they were
arrived at the temple they were met by the
white-robed messengers sent by the
According to our rules, Jesus was
initiated into our holy Order, after the fol-
lowing manner :
Both were instructed and shown the
way to enter into the assemblage, where
the brethren were seated in four separated
groups, according to the four degrees.
Over the scene the crescent shed its lurid
glare. The two were placed before the
brethren. There they made their vow, the
brethren in their white robes placing their
right hands upon their breasts, with the
left hanging down at the side. And this
was done as a token that none but the pure
in heart shall see that which is sacred and
And the two vowed indifference to the
treasures of earth, to worldly power or
The Letter 51
name, and by the brotherly kiss they vowed
obedience and secrecy.
And, in obedience to our custom, when
these two had made their vow they were
conducted into the lonely cavern where, for
three days and nights, they were subject to
self-examination and trial.
In the evening of the third day they were
again brought before the assembled breth-
ren to answer the questions put to them,
and then to pray.
Having received the brotherly kiss, they
were clothed in white robes, emblems of
sacred purity, and the trowel, emblematic
of the labors of our Brotherhood, was put
into their hands.
Having sung the sacred hymns and pa;*-
taken of the feast of love by themselves,
according to the custom of our Order none
of the brethren participating, they were
dismissed. After this they were instructed
concerning the trials and the disciplines
through which they must pass — living in
the loneliness of solitude, separate from
52 The Crucifixion
the world of mankind, for the period of one
year, at a point near the elder of the Order
from whom they should receive instruc-
tions fitting them for advancement in the
higher degrees of our Order.
Both grew rapidly in divine knowledge.
Jesus was frank and hearty of disposition,
but John shrouded himself in stern serious-
ness and solitude.
When the year of trial and self-examina-
tion was passed, they were again, under
the new moon, admitted into the Order,
this time as real members, and initiated
into the higher science.
When they had given a full account of
their conduct during the preceding year,
and acted in obedience to all the rules of
the Order, and performed the ceremonies
of singing and prayer and partaking of the
feast of love, they were conducted to the
secret chamber of worship, and there they
were instructed and admonished to search
Inasmuch as the rules of our Order per-
The Letter 53
mit the admitted member either to remain
with the Brotherhood in secret labor and
fellowship, or go out into the world to
teach or heal, according to his election, so
Jesus chose to go forth teaching, while
John chose to become a * * Terapeut, ' ' or
Jesus felt himself called by the spirit
of God, and longed to preach the doctrines
of our Order to the people.
Thus it came to pass that John returned
to Jutha, to live in solitude in the wilder-
ness, and Jesus returned to Nazareth.
Here he proved gloriously his virtue, and
fulfilled his vow to the Order. His friend
Lazarus had a sister Mary, who loved
Jesus; and he, in his heart, returned her
But, according to the rules of our Order,
an Esseer is not allowed to take unto him-
self a wife, after his own desire, lest the
sacred work be thereby retarded.
And so it was that Jesus overcame his
love for this woman by his dutiful devotion
54 The Crucifixion
to unselfish service of the Brotherhood.
But the struggle was hard, and at the hour
of their parting both Jesus and Mary wept
I have informed you of all these things,
my Brethren, that you shall indeed know
that Jesus was our Brother, and belonged
to our Holy Order.
Thus all doubts and uncertainties on this
matter must be ended. Jesus, our Brother,
willingly suffered death that he might
thereby glorify the doctrines of our Order ;
and the greatest reward of our virtue is
that we may, in like manner, be allowed to
sacrifice ourselves for it.
You have heard the accounts which the
Jews and his disciples have given concern-
ing him; that they have seen him in the
mountains and on the road after they be-
lieved him to be dead.
The divine providence has given us a
minute knowledge of these events that is
hidden from the people, and it is our duty
to inform you of the facts in reply to your
questions relative thereto.
The Letter 55
Even as I write this, my eyes overflow
with tears, and I seem to see our Brother
in the midst of his torture and in the an-
guish of death; and my afflicted mind is
anew wounded by the recollection of his
majestic courage and self-sacrifice.
He was sent of God, chosen by the
Almighty, beloved of us all, and inspired
both in teaching and in the knowledge of
nature and its elements.
Hear then, my Brethren, what occurred
in Jerusalem seven passovers ago. I have
seen it all with my own eyes, and with my
lips I have kept it a secret, that the world
should not know it; for the Jews and the
heathen believe only in the things they
have seen with their eyes. And so they
have no faith in God beyond that which
they can conceive with their senses.
Therefore, my dear Brethren, you
should give praise to God that it has thus
come to pass. We have kept these things
a secret from the people, lest their belief
in providence should be diminished. For
56 The Crucifixion
you know there are many pious and excel-
lent men who have recorded and remem-
bered the life and death of Jesus, but have
them only from rumors, augmented and
corrupted by superstition ; and from rever-
ence and piety they believe what they hear
of a beloved Master.
It was even so with those, chosen from
among the people, who were called disci-
ples of Jesus. Most of them have heard
the story of his life and death only through
tradition, as it has been told from man ta
man ; although there were others who were
present ; but these have given no informa-
tion concerning these important events.
In secrecy I will now inform you of what
I and our Brotherhood in Jerusalem have
seen and witnessed ; and you know that an
Esseer never permits aught to pass his lips
save the strictest truth. Every man who
has the gift of speech should magnify God,
and give manifestation of him, even as God
has given unto him a tongue in his mouth.
We might indeed have saved our beloved
The Letter 57
Brother frora the vengeance of his ene-
mies, if everything had not come to pass
so quickly, and if our laws had not pro-
hibited us from interfering in public
Nevertheless, we have saved him in
secret, as he fulfilled his divine mission in
the sight of all the universe. Indeed, that
a man die for his faith does not increase
the glory of God ; but that he, full of devo-
tion and divine confidence, suffer himself
to be subjected to martyrdom for his
faith; and this resolution, firmly fixed in
mind, constitutes the fulfilment of our work
in the sight of the world.
Therefore, pay good heed to what I now
tell you, that you may judge for yourselves
of the rumors that have reached you hence
and from Rome.
[Here is a large vacant place in the
document, caused by the destroying influ-
ence of time, the deciphering of which is
not possible from the still existing
58 The Crucifixion
The procession in which was the doomed
Jesus and the two thieves, wound its way-
out of the entrance to the valley that leads
from Jerusalem to Golgotha, the place of
The women cried loudly when they be-
held Jesus almost sinking down under the
weight of the cross, and his wounds, from
the scourging he had undergone, bleeding
Having arrived at the barren mountain
ridge * ' Gileon, ' ' where nothing grows, and
which lay on the north side, through which
the lonely valley of death winds its way,
they halted, and Jesus fell to the ground,
his tortured body losing all its strength.
Meanwhile the Eoman soldiers were
selecting places for erecting the crosses.
This done, they desired to prove their sym-
pathy with the sufferers by giving to them
a drink that made them unconscious, ac-
cording to the custom before crucifixion.
This drink was made from sour wine mixed
with wormwood, and was called **Toska."
The Letter 59
But Jesus did not wish to die for his
faith and the truth as a drunkard, where-
fore he refused to drink of it, having knowl-
edge, from our Order, of the qualities of
the mixture, which he knew by testing it.
And the crosses being erected, the time
was now come when the punishment was
to be inflicted on Jesus. The first cere-
mony was to tear his clothes from his body.
But in order that this might be done it was
necessary to divest him of the soldier's
mantle that he wore after the scourging,
and put on him his own clothes, which
latter were then torn off his body as the
At the request of the servants of San-
hedrim, the cross designed for Jesus was
placed in the middle, between those for the
two thieves, thereby denoting that his was
the greatest crime. They had even dis-
tinguished his cross from the others, for
although they commonly were constructed
in such a manner that the perpendicular
beam did not reach above the cross-beam.
60 The Crucifixion
his was of different form, the perpendicu-
lar beam reaching far above the cross-
They then laid hold of Jesus, and, lifting
him up, placed him on the short stake which
is always put in front of each cross, that
the body of the criminal may rest there
while being tied. They tied the arms as
usual with strong cords, and so tightly that
all the blood went back to the heart, and
breathing was thereby made difficult.
In the same manner they tied his feet,
and wound half way up his legs strong
cords which also drove the circulating
blood back to the heart.
After this they drove through his hands
thick iron nails, but none through his feet,
for this was not customary. I note this
particularly, my dear Brethren, inasmuch
as it has been rumored that he was nailed
through both his hands and his feet.
Thus the just hung, exposed to untold
sufferings, in the heat of the sun, which
on that day was extreme and fatiguing,
The Letter 61
while the soldiers took possession of his
clothes, according to the custom. The cloak
they cut into four parts ; but the tunic was
woven, and could not be torn asunder,
wherefore they cast lots for it.
After the noonday, when the sun had
turned, there came throngs of people from
the city, drawn thither by curiosity; and
there were several priests present, gloating
over their sinful vengeance. They derided
him, bowed down as he was with grief and
pain, and exhorted the people to mock him.
Jesus suffered quietly, directing his gaze
to the sky. He heard not the women of his
tribe from Galilee, who were standing some
distance away wringing their hands and
lamenting his, as they thought, untimely
These sounds of anguish and lamenta-
tion were drowned by the noise of horse-
men advancing to the scene. This was the
high-priest * * Caiaphas ' ' with a large escort
of servants, who came to mock and deride
the crucified son of God. And even one of
62 The Crucifixion
the crucified thieves joined with them in
deriding him, for he had secretly hoped
that Jesus would have delivered both him-
self and them through a miracle.
Now the Romans, in derision of the Jews,
had fixed a tablet or plate on the cross, over
his head, whereon in four different lan-
guages they designated him ^^King of the
Jews/' This deeply angered the priests,
but, inasmuch as they feared Pilate, they
exhausted their wrath by mocking Jesus.
Darkness descended over the earth, and
the people returned to Jerusalem. But
Jesus' disciples, his friends and the elders
of our holy Order remained on Golgotha,
our Order having near by a colony for wor-
ship and for partaking of our feast of love.
And Jesus recognized his mother among
the weeping women from Galilee, standing
close by the silent John (the Evangelist).
Jesus called out loudly, in the anguish of
his pain, citing the twenty-second Psalm,
praying God thereby to deliver him from
The Letter 63
There were still a few Pharisees remain-
ing on the mountain, who intended mock-
ing him, because they had expected and
hoped that Jesus would descend from the
cross, **the worldly savior of the people";
and as this had not come to pass, they felt
themselves deceived and were therefore
The heat grew steadily more intense,
more unendurable, and a fire was forming
in the earth and air, such as is essential
to the purification of the elements. The
Esseer brethren, through their knowledge
of nature and its elements, knew that an
earthquake was coming, as had formerly
occurred in the days of our forefathers.
As the night approached the earth began
a terrible shaking, and the Eoman Centu-
rion became so terrified that he prayed to
his heathen gods. He believed that Jesus
was beloved by the gods. Most of the
frightened people hastily departed from
the place and returned to Jerusalem; and
the Centurion, who was a noble man of
64 The Crucifixion
compassionate nature, permitted John to
conduct the mother of Jesus close to the
Jesus was consumed with thirst. His
lips were parched and dry, and the pain
was burning in his limbs. A soldier put
a sponge dipped in vinegar on a long cane
of hyssop, and from this Jesus quenched
As he recommended his mother to the
care of John, it was growing darker,
although the full moon should have been
shining in the heavens. From the Dead
Sea was observed to rise a thick, reddish
fog. The mountain ridges round about
Jerusalem shook violently, and the head
of Jesus sank down upon his breast.
When he uttered his last groan of an-
guish and pain, and passed away, a hiss-
ing sound was heard in the air; and they
of the Jews that still remained were seized
by a great fear, for they believed that the
evil spirits who dwell between heaven and
earth were proceeding to punish the people.
The Letter 65
It was that strange and unusual sound in
the air that precedes an earthquake.
Soon the mountain began to shake, the
surrounding country and the city com-
menced to rock, and the thick walls of
the temple gave way until the veil in the
temple parted and fell from its place. Even
the rocks burst asunder, and the hewn
sepulchres in the rock were destroyed, as
were also many of the corpses kept therein.
And as the Jews regarded all this as ex-
tremely supernatural, so the Roman Cen-
turion believed now in the divinity and
innocence of Christ, and comforted his
Although our brethren did not dare to
tell the people, as it is a secret with us,
nevertheless they well knew the cause of
this phenomenon of nature, and believed in
their Brother without ascribing to him
Dear Brethren, you have reproached us,
in that we did not save our Friend from the
cross by secret means. But I need only to
66 The Crucifixion
remind you that the sacred law of our
Order prohibits us from proceeding pub-
licly, and from interfering in matters of
state. Moreover, two of our Brethren, in-
fluential and experienced, did use all their
influence with Pilate and the Jewish coun-
cil in behalf of Jesus, but their efforts were
frustrated in that Jesus himself requested
that he might be permitted to suffer death
for his faith, and thus fulfil the law; for,
as you know, to die for truth and virtue
is the greatest sacrifice a Brother can
There was a certain Joseph, from Ari-
mathea. He was rich, and being a member
of the council, he was much esteemed by the
people. He was a prudent man, and whilst
he did not appear to belong to any party,
he was secretly a member of our sacred
Order and lived in accordance with our
laws. His friend Nicodemus was a most
learned man, and belonged to the highest
degree of our Order. He knew the secrets
of the ''Terapeuts," and was often to-
gether with us.
The Letter 67
Now it so happened that after the earth-
quake, and many of the people had gone
away, Joseph and Nicodemus arrived at
the cross. They were informed of the death
of the crucified, in the garden of our Breth-
ren, not far from Calvary.
Although they loudly lamented his fate,
it nevertheless appeared strange to them
that Jesus, having hung less than seven
hours, should already be dead. They could
not believe it, and hastily went up to the
place. There they found John alone, he
having determined to see what became of
the beloved body.
Joseph and Nicodemus examined the
body of Jesus, and Nicodemus, greatly
moved, drew Joseph aside and said to him :
*^As sure as is my knowledge of life and
nature, so sure is it possible to save him."
But Joseph did not understand him, and
he admonished us that we should not tell
John of what we had heard. Indeed, it was
a secret which was to save our Brother
68 The Crucifixion
Nicodemus shouted: ^*We must imme-
diately have the body with its bones un-
broken, because he may still be saved";
then, realizing his want of caution, he con-
tinued in a whisper, ** saved from being
infamously buried. ' '
He persuaded Joseph to disregard his
own interest, that he might save their
Friend by going immediately to Pilatus,
and prevailing upon him to permit them
to take Jesus' body from the cross that
very night and put it in the sepulchre, hewn
in the rock close by, and which belonged to
I, understanding what he meant, re-
mained with John to watch the cross and
prevent the soldiers from breaking the
bones of Jesus.
No corpse is allowed to remain on the
cross over night, and the next day being
Sunday, they would now take him down
and bury him early.
The Jewish council had already demand-
ed of Pilate an order to the soldiers to
The Letter 69
break the bones of the crucified, that they
might be buried.
Soon after Joseph and Nicodemus had
departed, each one on his sacred mission, a
messenger arrived bringing the order to
the Centurion to take down the corpses and
bury them. I myself was greatly agitated
by this information, for I knew if he were
not handled with great care he could not be
saved, and still less if his bones were to be
Even John was dismayed, though not
from fear of the plans being frustrated, for
of these he did not know ; but he was deeply
grieved at the thought of seeing the body
of his friend mutilated. For John believed
that Jesus was dead.
As the messenger arrived I hastened to
him, thinking and hoping that Joseph al-
ready might have seen Pilate, a thing of
which there in reality was no possibility.
*^Does Pilate send youT' I asked of him.
And he answered, **I come not from
Pilate, but from his Secretary, who acts for
70 The Crucifixion
the governor in such unimportant mat-
ters. ' '
The Centurion, observing my anxiety,
looked at me, and in the manner of a friend
I said to him: **You have seen that this
man that is crucified is an uncommon man.
Do not maltreat him, for a rich man among
the people is now with Pilate to
offer him money for the corpse, that he
may give it decent burial."
My dear Brethren, I must here inform
you that Pilate often did sell the bodies
of the crucified to their friends, that they
might thus bury them.
And the Centurion was friendly to me,
inasmuch as he had conceived from the
events that Jesus was an innocent man.
And therefore, when the two thieves were
beaten by the soldiers with heavy clubs and
their bones broken, the Centurion went
past the cross of Jesus, saying to the sol-
diers: *^Do not break his bones, for he is
And a man was seen rapidly approach-
The Letter 71
ing along the road from the castle of An-
tonia to Calvary. He advanced to the
Centurion and brought to him the order
that he should quickly come to Pilate.
The Centurion then questioned the mes-
senger to learn what Pilate wanted of him
at so late an hour of the night. The mes-
senger answered, that Pilate desired to
know if Jesus was indeed dead.
**So he is/' said the Centurion; *^ there-
fore we have not broken his bones. ' '
To be the more sure of it, *one of the sol-
diers stuck his spear into the body in such
manner that it passed over the hip and into
the side. The body showed no convulsions,
and this was taken by the Centurion as a
sure sign that he actually was dead; and
he hurriedly went away to make his report.
But from the insignificant wound flowed
blood and water, at which John wondered,
and my own hope revived. For even John
knew, from the knowledge of our Brother-
hood, that from a wound in a dead body
flows nothing but a few drops of thickened
72 The Crucifixion
blood ; but now there flowed both water and
I was deeply anxious that Joseph and
Nicodemus should return. At last some
Galilean women were seen approaching on
their return from Bethania, whither they
had brought Mary, the mother of Jesus, in
the care of the Esseer friends.
And among the women was also Mary,
the sister of Lazarus, who had loved Jesus,
and she wept loudly. But before she could
pour out her grief, and while John was
gazing intently at the wound in Jesus ' side,
heeding naught else, Joseph and Nicode-
mus returned in great haste. Joseph
through his dignity had moved Pilate, and
Pilate, having received information as to
the death of the crucified, gave the body to
Joseph, and without taking pay therefor.
For Pilate had a great reverence for
Joseph, and secretly repented of the execu-
tion. A¥hen Nicodemus saw the wound,
flowing with water and blood, his eyes were
animated with new hope, and he spoke en-
The Letter 73
couragingly, foreseeing what was to
He drew Joseph aside to where I stood,
some distance from John, and spoke in a
low, hurried tone: **Dear friends, be of
good cheer, and let us to work. Jesus is
not dead. He seems so only because his
strength is gone. ' '
** While Joseph was with Pilate I hur-
ried over to our colony and fetched the
herbs that are useful in such cases. But I
admonish you that you tell not John that
we hope to reanimate the body of Jesus,
lest he could not conceal his great joy.
And dangerous indeed would it be if the
people should come to know it, for our
enemies would then put us all to death with
After this they hurried to the cross, and,
according to the prescriptions of the medi-
cal art, they slowly untied his bonds, drew
the spikes out from his hands, and with
great care laid him on the ground.
Thereupon, Nicodemus spread strong
74 The Crucifixion
spices and healing salves on long pieces of
**byssus'' which he had brought, and whose
use was known only in our Order.
These he wound about Jesus ' body, pre-
tending that he did so to keep the body
from decaying until after the feast, when
he would then embalm it.
These spices and salves had great heal-
ing powers, and were used by our Esseer
Brethren who knew the rules of medical
science for the restoration to consciousness
of those in a state of death-like fainting.
And even as Joseph and Nicodemus were
bending over his face and their tears fell
upon him, they blew into him their own
breath, and warmed his temples.
Still Joseph was doubtful of his recovery
to life, but Nicodemus encouraged him to
increase their efforts. Nicodemus spread
balsam in both the nail-pierced hands, but
he believed that it was not best to close up
the wound in Jesus' side, because he con-
sidered the flow of blood and water there-
from helpful to respiration and beneficial
in the renewing of life.
The Letter 75
In the midst of his grief and sorrow,
John did not believe that life would return
to the body of his friend, and he did not
hope to see him again until they should
meet in ^ * School. ' '
The body was then laid in the sepulchre
made in the rocks, which belonged to
Joseph. They then smoked the grotto
with aloe and other strengthening herbs,
and while the body lay upon the bed of
moss, still stiff and inanimate, they placed
a large stone in front of the entrance,
that the vapors might better fill the grotto.
This done, John, with some others, went
to Bethania, to comfort his grief-stricken
But Caiaphas, although it was the Sab-
bath day, had sent out his secret spies. He
was anxious to know who were the secret
friends of Jesus. His suspicions had fallen
upon Pilate because of his having given
Joseph of Arimathea the body without any
pay, he being rich, a Eabbi and member
of the high council, who never had ap-
peared to take any interest in the case of
76 The Crucifixion
Jesus previously, but who now had given
his own place of burial for the crucified.
And so it was that Caiaphas anticipated
secret plans between the rich Joseph and
the Galileans, and knowing that they in-
tended to embalm the body, he hoped there
to catch them, as the idea had occurred to
him that Joseph and Pilate were plotting
against the Jews.
Fear of this caused him great anxiety,
and for this reason he hoped to discover
some secret means of accusing Joseph and
having him thrown into prison. He be-
trayed this fact himself by sending late in
the night a number of his armed servants
to an obscure valley close by the grotto in
which lay the body of Jesus. Some dis-
tance from them was stationed a detach-
ment of the temple guard, to assist the
servants of the high-priest, if necessary.
But the rumor has told you that this
guard were Roman soldiers, which was not
the case. The high-priost even distrusted
The Letter 77
Meanwhile Nicodemus had hastened
with me to our brethren, and the oldest
and wisest came to confer as to the best
means of restoring Jesus to life. And the
brethren agreed immediately to send a
guard to the grove. Joseph and Nicode-
mus hurried to the city, there to fulfil their
After midnight, and towards morning,
the earth again commenced to shake, and
the air became very oppressive. The rocks
shook and cracked. Ked flames burst forth
from the crevices, illuminating the red
mists of the morning.
This was, indeed, a dreadful night.
Beasts, horrified by the earthquake, ran
howling and crying in every direction.
Through the narrow opening the little lamp
in the grotto threw trembling shadows into
the horrible night, and the servants of
the high-priest were full of fear, listening
to the hissing in the air and the roaring
and rumbling in the earth.
One of our brethren went to the grave,
78 The Crucifixion
in obedience to the order of the Brother-
hood, dressed in the white robe of the
fourth degree. He went by way of a secret
path which ran through the mountain to
the grave, and which was known only to
• When the timid servants of the high-
priest saw the white-robed Brother on the
mountain slowly approaching, and partial-
ly obscured by the morning mist, they were
seized with a great fear, and they thought
that an angel was descending from the
When this Brother arrived at the grave
which he was to guard, he rested on the
stone which he had pulled from the en-
trance according to his orders ; whereupon
the soldiers fled and spread the report that
an angel had driven them away.
When the Esseer youth had set himself
down upon the stone, there came a new
earth-shock, and a draft of air passing
down the grotto blew out the lamp and
gave place for the morning light.
The Letter 79
Thirty hours had now passed since the
assumed death of Jesus. And when the
Brother, having heard a slight noise within
the grotto, went in to observe what had
happened, he smelled a strange odor in the
air, such as often occurs when the earth is
about to vomit forth fire.
And the youth observed with inexpressi-
ble joy that the lips of the body moved, and
that it breathed. He at once hastened to
Jesus to assist him, and heard slight
sounds rising from his breast. The face
assumed a living appearance, and the eyes
opened and in astonishment gazed at the
novice of our Order.
This occurred just as I was leaving with
the brethren of the first degree, from the
council, with Joseph, who had come to con-
sult how to bring help.
Nicodemus, who was an experienced phy-
sician, said, on the way, that the peculiar
condition of the atmosphere caused by the
revolution of the elements was beneficial to
Jesus, and that he never had believed that
80 The Crucifixion
Jesus really was dead. And he further
said that the blood and water which flowed
from the wound was a sure sign that life
was not extinct.
Conversing thus, we arrived at the grot-
to, Joseph and Nicodemus going before.
We were in all twenty-four brethren of the
Entering, we perceived the white-robed
novice kneeling upon the moss-strewn
floor of the grotto, supporting the head of
the revived Jesus on his breast.
And as Jesus recognized his Esseer
friends, his eyes sparkled with joy; his
cheeks were tinted with a faint red, and he
sat up, asking: *^ Where am If
Then Joseph embraced him, folded him
in his arms, told him how it all had come
to pass, and how he was saved from actual
death by a profound fainting fit, which the
soldiers on Calvary had thought was death.
And Jesus wondered, and felt on him-
self; and, praising God, he wept on the
breast of Joseph. Then Nicodemus urged
The Letter 81
his friend to take some refreshments, and
he ate some dates and some bread dipped
in honey. And Nicodemus gave wine to
drink, after which Jesus was greatly re-
freshed, so that he raised himself up.
Then it was that he became conscious of
the wounds in his hands and in his side.
But the balsam which Nicodemus had
spread upon them had a soothing effect,
and they had already commenced to heal.
After the *^byssus'' wrappings had been
taken off and the muckender was removed
from his head, Joseph spoke and said;
**This is not a place in which to remain
longer, for here the enemies might easily
discover our secret, and betray us.''
But Jesus was not yet strong enough to
walk far, wherefore he was conducted to
the house belonging to our Order, that is
close by Calvary, in the garden, which also
belongs to our brethren.
Another young Brother of our Order
was dispatched at once to assist the novice
who had been watching by the grave of
82 The Crucifixion
Jesus, to annihilate every trace of the
byssus wrappings and the medicines and
When Jesus arrived at the house of our
brethren he was faint and weak. His
wounds had begun to cause him pain. He
was much moved, in that he considered it
all as a miracle.
' * God has let me rise, ' ' he said, ^ * that he
may prove in me that which I have taught,
and I will show my disciples that I do live. ' '
And after a little while the two young
men who had gone to put the grave in
order, came hurriedly back and brought
the message that the friends of Jesus soon
would come to seek him.
And they related how they had heard a
noise, when at work in the grotto, as of
many people coming to the fence that sur-
rounds the garden. When they had retired
yet further into the grotto, there came a
woman on the road from Jerusalem, and
when she saw that the stone had been
rolled away from the grave she manifested
The Letter 83
great fear. She thought that something
had happened to the body, and hurried
away to Bethlehem.
But soon thereafter other women came
from Jerusalem, and approached the
grave. Wondering greatly, they had en-
tered the grave, and one of them, on look-
ing for the body in the place where it had
lain, beheld our Brother, and in terror
pointed him out to her companions. When
the other Brother also came in view, the
women fell upon their faces, and thought
they had beheld angels.
And the brethren spoke to them as they
had been ordered by those of the first de-
gree, and one of them said to the women :
** Jesus is risen. Do not look for him here.
Say to his disciples that they will find him
in Galilee." And the other told them to
gather the disciples and conduct them to
This was devised by the wisdom of Jo-
seph, for he would not that they should
look for Jesus at Jerusalem, for his safe-
84 The Crucifixion
ty's sake. And the brethren went out of
the cavern by the rear entrance, and ob-
served that some of the women hastened
on the road to Bethania, whereupon the
young Brothers hurried to us in the house
to tell us of what had come to pass.
Thus the Esseer friends pleaded with
Jesus to remain in concealment, for his
safety's sake, and to recover his strength.
But Jesus was moved by a great desire to
prove to his friends that he still lived. Im-
pelled by this desire, and feeling himself
refreshed and strengthened, he asked for
clothes, that he might go forth among his
friends. He was immediately clothed in
the Esseer working-garb, such as our
brethren wear when at work. In this dress
he appeared as a gardener.
In the meantime the two young Brothers
had gone again to the grave, as their work
there was not yet completed. While there
they saw the same woman return who came
first to the grave, as John and Peter mean-
while had made known among the disciples
what had come to pass.
The Letter 85
This woman, thus returning to the grave,
thought the two novices were angels guard-
ing the empty grave, and she wept.
One of the novices, of kindly disposition,
in a gentle and soothing voice spoke to the
woman and asked her why she wept. This
woman was Mary, whom Jesus had loved
and had been obliged to leave in accordance
with the laws of our holy Brotherhood.
And as she was lamenting that Jesus did
not lie where he had been placed before the
Sabbath, Jesus stood behind her, dressed in
the garb of a gardener.
Animated by the desire to see again those
he loved, and to proclaim to them that he
still lived, he had disregarded the advice
of the brethren that he remain in conceal-
ment, and, leaving the house, he had taken
the path through the garden to the rock
where the grave was hewn.
When Mary saw him she thought him to
be the gardener. But Jesus knew her, and
rejoicing in her love he spoke to her. Still,
in his weak and suffering condition, she did
86 The Crucifixion
not know him. But when he exclaimed, ' * 0
Mary!" she knew him and longed to kiss
his feet and thereafter embrace him.
But Jesus, feeling the pain in his hands
and side, feared to embrace her lest he
might thereby injure his wounds. He there-
fore moved back from her as she ap-
proached, and said :
* * Touch me not. Though I still live, yet
soon shall I go to my Father in heaven ; for
my body is become feeble and soon shall be
dissolved, that my death may be fulfilled.''
As the woman knelt down, and with great
excitement fixed her eyes upon him, Jesus
heard the sound of approaching footsteps,
and, careful for his safety, hastened back,
placing himself behind the garden wall not
far from the garden of our friends.
And the two youths who were charged to
guard the grave, and who had been in-
structed to thwart the enemies' spies who
were seeking to find Jesus, had seen and
heard all this.
Meanwhile Joseph, Nicodemus and the
The Letter 87
other brethren had come from the house
into the garden to look after Jesus and take
due care that he was not in peril because of
his great weakness. This Nicodemus feared
inasmuch as he had seen that the wounds
were more inflamed and the flesh where the
strong cords had been was now dark of
When we had arrived at the entrance of
the garden we beheld Jesus standing behind
the wall and resting against it as if he could
go no further.
It was about this time that John hastened
from the city, and looking into the grotto
had found it vacant. For the two youths
had made their way to our garden through
the secret entrance to the grotto.
Peter also arrived, and both together
searched throughout the grotto for signs of
the body. Entering the inner part of the
grotto they found the muckender where the
novices had thrown it, whence they had fled
at the arrival of these two strange persons.
In earnest conversation the two disciples
hurried back into the city.
88 The Crucifixion
And Jesus had slowly walked along the
wall until he had reached the little gate that
opens to the valley of Mount ^^Grihon."
There he listened to the conversation of
some women outside the wall. When he
came forth and the women had beheld him
they believed that they had seen an appari-
tion. But Jesus spoke to them in order that
they might know that it was indeed him-
And inasmuch as the youth in the grove
had said to the women that in Galileo they
should see him, one of them rememjered
this and said to him : ' * Lord, shall we obey
the word of the angel, and see thee again
in Galilee r'
This question astonished Jesus, for he
did not know that the brethren had in-
structed the novice to mention that part of
the country. But after consideration he an-
swered her and said: ''Yes, inform my
friends and tell them that I go to Galilee
and there you shall see me."
His weakness being increased, he desired
The Letter 89
to be left alone, and the women departed.
And then it was that we, his secret protect-
ors, went to him and conducted him back
to the house that he might there rest and
Nicodemus again tied up his wounds,
gave him a medical draught and admon-
ished him to rest himself in quiet. But
Jesus feared not death, and was buoyant of
spirit. Nevertheless his strength was gone,
and he soon fell into a profound sleep,
whereupon Joseph, Nicodemus and the
brethren counseled together as to how they
might care for his safety. For this pur-
pose they sent some of the brethren into
the city that they might learn the rumors
of Jesus among the people.
And strangely the rumors had told of
many miracles in the city. The fleeing
guards having tried to conceal their cow-
ardly fear, had circulated reports of terri-
ble events that had come to pass, and of
spirits that had burst open the grave.
And the high-priest had been told of
90 The Crucifixion
these things, and he knew not what to
think. He feared lest the miracle would
excite the people, for the women, and even
the men, had been too excited thereby to
keep it a secret, and the people already
were busy discussing the subject.
Therefore, Caiaphas gave the guard
money, that they should report that his
friends had stolen the corpse, that they
(the disciples) might say he was risen, and
thus delude the people.
And all day Jesus remained in his pro-
found slumber, and was thereby filled with
renewed life. It was evening when he
awakened. His wounds were now less pain-
ful, inasmuch as the balsam which Nico-
demus applied had produced a soothing ef-
fect. He was in good spirit, and with
thankful heart he saw that his friends
watched over him. Without assistance he
rose from his couch, and, being hungry,
asked that he might have food.
Having refreshed himself, he said:
*^Now that I am strong again it behooves
The Letter 91
me that I no longer remain in concealment.
For a teacher should be among his people,
and a son embrace his mother.''
Joseph answered him and said: *^The
Brotherhood is father and mother to thee
now, according to its promise to thee, and
it is therefore the duty of the Brotherhood
to protect thee as its beloved child. ' '
And Jesus said: *^I fear not death, for
I have fulfilled it, and the enemies shall
acknowledge that God has saved me, and
wills not that I die eternally."
Then one of the elders of the Brother-
hood said: **Thou art not safe in this
country, for they will search after thee.
Do not, therefore, go any more among the
people to teach, for what thou hast taught
will live among thy friends forever, and
thy disciples will publish it to the world.
Eemain, I pray thee, dead to the world.
The Brotherhood has brought thee back to
life through its secrets, therefore live
henceforth for our holy Order to which
thou art bound. Live in the seclusion of
92 The Crucifixion
wisdom and virtue, unknown to the world.
"We will secretly teach and assist the dis-
ciples among the people, and they shall re-
ceive encouragement and help from the
holy Brotherhood. And if the time shall
come when thou shouldst again go out
among the people, we will send for thee
and inform thee.''
But Jesus, in the ardor of his sacred en-
thusiasm, said : * * The voice of God is more
powerful within me than is the fear of
death. I will see my disciples once more,
and will go to Galilee. ' '
Then the elder said: **Be it so, as God
has called you; but it behooves men that
they be wise and cautious in good things.
Therefore, some of our brethren shall go
with thee, and protect thee through the
power of our connections in Galilee."
But Nicodemus did not approve of this
journey, for he knew that the body of Je-
sus was weakened, though his soul was
strong in its courage. And the faithful
physician therefore entreated him not to
The Letter 93
go lest he thereby make impossible his re-
But Jesus answered: **Be it fulfilled
that is to be." And Joseph wondered
greatly at the spirit of Jesus, and more
than ever believed in his great promises.
When evening had come Jesus started on
his journey, and he wished to go alone.
It being cold, the brethren gave him a warm
mantle in which he wrapped himself that
the officers of the city might not recognize
And the brethren admonished him to
stop only with the Esseer friends, and be-
cause of the feast not to travel on the high-
way. Therefore Jesus was persuaded to
go by the way of Bethania and the Ephra-
imitical mountain, where Samaria borders
on upper Galilee to the north.
Jesus went forth upon his journey, and
when he was gone the brethren blessed his
undertaking; but, advised by Joseph, they
sent a novice to follow him and on the way
secretly inform the Esseer friends.
94 The Crucifixion
Of all that has come to pass our friends
have kept us fully informed.
While Jesus was journeying on the road
to Emmaus, a few hours ' travel hence, his
soul was filled with inspirations over the
new life, and he spoke in a loud voice, so
that our messenger could hear that it was
of the prophecies of Daniel he was speak-
Two men were traveling the same road
from Jerusalem, and as they walked more
rapidly than Jesus, they soon overtook him.
Jesus said to them: ^* Peace be with
you." At first he believed them to be Es-
seer friends, but soon thereafter he rec-
ognized them as two of his own friends
from among the people, who often had
heard him teach. They gave no heed to
the quiet traveler. But he heard them
speak of his death, and of the deep de-
spair of his disciples. And from their
words he conceived that his doctrine and
his teachings were in danger of being de-
stroyed and lost, by reason of the despair
The Letter 95
of his friends, who were without a leader
to keep them from being scattered.
When one of these travelers lamented
that the prophecy had not been fulfilled
and that Jesus had not risen from the dead,
Jesus spoke with ardor, and the two dis-
ciples were greatly interested in what he
said, for it appeared to them that they
had heard the same teachings before.
At the place in their journey where the
two disciples stopped they detained Jesus
when he desired to go farther on alone and
in the night time. And at the common
feast of love, in the house where they had
stopped, the two disciples recognized Je-
sus; but he did not wish to be known in
this place. He therefore, unobserved,
passed out through the door and went to
the house of the Esseer friend to whom
he had been recommended.
Meanwhile the two disciples retraced
their steps to Jerusalem to carry to their
friends there the news of the risen one.
Here they found Peter, and with him John.
96 The Crucifixion
But the Esseer friends met together and
counseled what they were further to do.
There was with them also the youth that
our Order had sent to follow Jesus.
And Jesus conceived that he immediately
must return to Jerusalem to reanimate the
hope of his friends and correct the report
given out by the two disciples who so hur-
riedly had returned to Jerusalem.
The Esseer friend gave him a beast of
burden that he might mount and thus
travel the more easily, and the novice whom
we had sent accompanied him and walked
by the side of the animal.
And thus it came to pass that, soon after
the arrival of the disciples, Jesus came to
the well-known home where our friends
used to meet together. Jesus gave the
sign by which the bar fell from the door
by the hand of the doorkeeper, for the dis-
ciples were then in secret council.
When Jesus heard how his followers
spoke of his resurrection, and were consid-
ering if it were possible, he came forward
The Letter 97
among them, and as they did not know him
at first, they were alarmed, not knowing
that the door had been opened.
But Jesus spoke to them, comforted
them, and proved to them that he was
really flesh and .bones. Thereupon they
joyously surrounded him, touched his
hands, and Jesus leaned upon the breast
of John, being faint from the fatigue of
After he had rested Jesus still more fully
proved to his friends that he lived as do
other people, by asking for food. Inas-
much as the friends had already eaten,
there was left some bread, honey and fish,
of which he ate and refreshed himself.
Thereupon he admonished them that they
fulfil the work he had undertaken and not
give up but be of good cheer. And he
blessed them and said to them that he could
not disclose to them where he should go,
and that he should go alone, but that when
they should want him he would come to
them, for he yet had much to say to them.
98 The Crucifixion
Outside the door the novice was waiting
with the animal, and when Jesus came forth
he directed the novice to conduct him to
the quiet dwelling of the Esseers. But an-
other Esseer youth had come to seek in-
formation of him in J-erusalem, and the
two now carried Jesus between them, as
he was still weak and faint from the fa-
tigue he had endured on his journey.
After much effort and many difficulties
they brought him in the night time to the
Brotherhood, to the house of the elder,
which is located a few stadis from Jeru-
salem and close by Olive Mountain.
Here Jesus was placed on a soft bed of
moss, where he soon fell into a profound
slumber. And the Esseer youths hastened
to Joseph, Nicodemus and the other Esseer
friends to inform them of what had oc-
Before the dawning of day a council was
held that they might further protect Jesus,
he having returned to Jerusalem so openly,
for the sake of the holy Spirit, that he
The Letter 99
might strengthen his followers in their
work. And with one accord they deter
mined that no time should be lost, the
priests in the city having their secret spies
who were trying even to entrap his dis-
It was in council agreed that he immedi-
ately must depart hence, that he might not
be discovered, and that he should return
to the quiet valley not far distant from
Jutha and the castle of Masseda, where
there is a wild and mountainous country.
Here Jesus had lived before, together with
John the physician, with whom he was ad-
mitted to the holy Order of our Brethren.
This was considered also a safe place in
that many Esseers lived there.
While they yet were in council consid-
ering, Jesus awoke from his refreshing
slumbers, and wondered greatly to see
that he was surrounded by his brethren.
But Joseph and Nicodemus beseeched him
that he save himself and not again permit
himself to fall into the power of the priests.
100 The Crucifixion
Joseph even told him that it had come to
him that Caiaphas had fixed his suspicions
upon him, that he, with the Galileans,
formed a secret plot to overthrow the pres-
ent condition of things, and that Caiaphas
would demand of him an explanation why-
he had laid Jesus in his own tomb.
He had suspicion even on Pilate that
he had secretly contrived with me, because
that he had given the supposed corpse to
me without receiving pay therefor.
And as Joseph persuaded Jesus, with
much ardor, to comply with his wishes, and
as all the elders supported him, Jesus an-
**Be it so; but I conjure you to encour-
age my disciples. Help and protect them
and tell them that they shall have no
doubts, for I am with them still in body
And Joseph entreated him that he take
further rest, as Nicodemus had expressed
fear lest the excitement and enthusiasm
of Jesus would endanger and not help his
The Letter 101
martyred body. For even if the wounds
in his hands were beginning to heal, and
the wound in his side emitted no more
humor, his body was still weak and easily
affected by the excitement of his mind.
But, having slept, he for the immediate
present felt himself refreshed.
After further consideration Jesus said:
**If my disciples are not convinced that
I really live, and if I do not go forth among
them, they will think me an apparition
and a delusion of their imagination.''
Joseph answered him and said: **Let
us advance John to the higher degrees of
our Order, that he may be convinced of
thy living, and may execute thy directions
and inform the other disciples concerning
But the elders of the brethren were not
willing that John should be admitted into
all the secrets, inasmuch as he was yet
only in the lowest degree, and they feared
that in his ardor he might inform others
that Jesus was here.
102 The Crucifixion
While they were yet in council consid-
ering, a novice of our Order arrived, who
had been sent to the city. He reported that
John, with his friends, had hastened to
Bethania to comfort the women in Lazarus'
house, and inform them that Jesus was
yet alive and had rested upon his bosom.
And John had wondered that Jesus had
not directed him to go to Galilee, as he
had ordered the women to do. He did not
think, therefore, that it was the intention
of his Master, and that the disciples ought
to wait for coming events.
And Jesus remained all that day with
the Esseer friends; but when night came
on we all departed by the secret road —
Joseph, Nicodemus and the elders of the
Order — and having passed the valley of
Eephaim, we arrived at Masseda at the
breaking of day; and following a narrow
path known only to the Esseers, we came
at last to the brethren in that wild valley.
Here the elder provided for Jesus. And
when Joseph and we others were about to
The Letter 103
depart Jesus gave us his word tliat he
would remain there until the Father should
call him to fulfil his mission.
And each day the brethren sent a mes-
senger to us to inform us of the health of
our dearly beloved Brother. And we were
told that Jesus had rested a number of
days, but that his heart was sad and sorely
afflicted with melancholy thoughts.
This was the same valley where he had
wandered with John, his beloved compan-
ion, and with whom he had been initiated
into our holy Order.
And Jesus meditated on that John who,
as a physician, had founded a school and
had baptized, had been slain by the ene-
mies, while he had been saved by the hand
of God, wherein he saw the command of
God that he should not rest, in that his
body had been restored to him for some
By this thought his mind was oppressed
and overwrought, and as he came to the
place where he and John had solemnly
104 The Crucifixion
vowed that they would die for truth and
virtue, he felt that he was called to follow
the mission in the cause of which his
friend had died.
And Jesus went every day to this blessed
spot, and refreshed his body, viewing the
splendors of nature. And he selected a
place whence he could see the high tower
of Masseda toward the west, shielded from
the morning and the noonday sun by lofty
mountains, whilst on the other side the
view was unobstructed and he could see
far away over an open country toward the
sea and the valley of Sittim.
But the elder of the Brotherhood left
him not alone, inasmuch as he had ob-
served that Jesus often would lie in pro-
found revery, and that the longing to be
among his disciples would overcome all
care for his own safety.
About this time it came to pass that our
brethren of the Brotherhood in Jerusalem
remembered the promise they had made to
Jesus to protect his disciples and strength^
The Letter 105
en tliem in their belief in the resurrection
of their Master. It had come to them that
not all of the disciples were convinced of
the resurrection of their Master. And one
of them that doubted was Thomas, a deep
thinker, who had received his education
from the Esseer brethren. Because of this,
he possessed profound knowledge in the
secret powers and processes of nature. Ac-
cording to nature's laws he explained all
the things that had come to pass, and he
believed that there was no miracle ; for, as
an Esseer, he was raised above supersti-
Jesus confided in him and told him his
mission, and Thomas believed in him and
saw that his mission was one of great im-
portance. This Jesus did in that Thomas
was a man of clear vision and strong rea-
son, excitement and passion being unknown
to him ; and with patience and great perse-
verance he tried all things before his mind
would be convinced.
And when the disciples were together
106 The Crucifixion
in their secret place of meeting Thomas
was with them, and he reasoned with them,
not believing that a man can rise from the
But John had himself seen and felt Je-
sus and held him on his breast. Neverthe-
less, Thomas would not be convinced, even
though he believed in the prophecies of
the prophets and that they would surely be
For, dear Brethren, the Jews hoped to
see the Messias come in the manner Elias
And as our Brotherhood had promised
to report all, especially as the disciples
themselves did not agree, it was to be feared
that their ardor in the good cause would
diminish. We therefore sent two youths
to the valley at Masseda to inform the
brethren that they might counsel with Je-
When Jesus heard these things his heart
was filled with a great desire to leave the
solitude and show himself once more to
The Letter 107
And as the messenger had reported that
Thomas would not believe that Jesus was
still alive, except he could feel his hands
and the wound in his side, Jesus no longer
could restrain his desire, and even the elder
counseled him to go and convince them.
This came to pass on the seventh day
that Jesus had been in concealment.
And thus it happened that our brethren
went with Jesus. And on the eighth day,
when the disciples were together in Jeru-
salem, Jesus went forth among them, and
Thomas was convinced.
Having accomplished this, Jesus spoke
to his disciples and admonished them, for
his own sake, that they were not safe. He
also exhorted them to faith and to be of
one accord. But he could not tell them
when or where to meet him in Galilee, in-
asmuch as he had first to consider thereon.
After this he departed from them in the
evening, and John went with him. And
outside the house there was an Esseer
youth who desired to commit himself to
108 The Crucifixion
the service of Jesus. And Jesus sent him
to report that he was in Bethania.
Thereupon Jesus crossed Kidron with
John as his companion. The night was
beautiful and clear, and the moon shed a
dim radiance over the scene.
At Gethsemane Jesus rested by the wall
and spoke with John of his martyrdom
and sufferings. Having received informa-
tion of his disciples, he sent John forward
to the house of Lazarus in Bethania, that
he might announce his coming and learn if
he there would be safe.
Immediately thereafter Jesus went into
the house to see his mother and his friends.
After having thanked God that they
were permitted once more to see each oth-
er, they ate and refreshed themselves to-
gether. On the following day he remained
with them, comforting them and exhorting
them that they believe in the truth. He
warned them of their false expectations, in
that they had come to think that he would
forever remain with them.
The Letter 109
He told them that it now was time that
he should go, as the night was at hand. He
said to them that he would hasten to Gali-
lee, there to strengthen his disciples that
they persevere in the good work.
But even while Jesus was inBethania dan-
gers were threatening him. Caiaphas, the
high-priest, had been informed that Jesus
had been seen in Jerusalem. And he had
spread the rumor that the disciples had
stolen the body of Jesus, and had invented
a miraculous story.
But there were many among the people
in the city who believed that Jesus had
risen by the hand of God, and these com-
menced to complain of the injustice done
to him, and to believe in his doctrines.
And the high-priest feared a revolution
among the people, and believed that the
Galileans were intending to overthrow the
government and set up a new ruler. He
was therefore suspicious and watchful.
In the evening of the same day came
Nicodemus to our Brotherhood and brought
110 The Crucifixion
to us the information that Joseph of Ari-
mathea had been arrested, and that they
falsely attributed to him criminal pur-
poses, in that he had been in secret associa-
tion with Jesus. Whereupon great anxi-
ety arose among our brethren, for we
feared that also Jesus had been arrested,
inasmuch as he had not been seen by any
of us since the evening when he convinced
Our elders thereupon met in council,
wherein it was agreed that we should
search for Jesus, and use all efforts to lib-
Two of our brethren were commissioned
to array themselves in their white holiday-
garb and search for Jesus in Bethania, as
Jesus had informed the Esseer youth that
he would go thither.
And as they came to Bethania in the
evening, and in the moonlight saw the
house of Lazarus not far distant, they met
with a man on the secret road who care-
fully scanned the road. But the Esseers
The Letter 111
knew him, and they asked of him if Jesus
was at his house. For this was Lazarus,
and having recognized our brethren, he
acknowledged that it was even so, and that
Jesus intended that very night to go to
Bethania, and therefore he had examined
the secret road to see if it were safe.
The brethren were conducted into the
house. Here, in a small secluded room,
they spoke with Jesus. And when the
brethren had told Jesus of the arrest and
danger of Joseph, Jesus recommended him
to the protection of the Order, prayed to
God, and thereafter sent John to Jerusa-
lem that he might warn his disciples of
Having taken leave of the women, we
were accompanied by Lazarus as far as
Gilgad. Thence he went further on alone
in the night, and in the early morning he
had come to the river Jordan, in the place
where through John he was baptized by
Our holy Brotherhood in Jerusalem was
112 The Crucifixion
DOW planning how to liberate Joseph,
whereto we were in possession of many
And John had warned his friends, the
disciples, as he had been ordered. And
the next morning they went in great num-
bers to the border of Galilee. Arriving
there, they asked, one from another:
** Whither shall we go! Our Master has
fixed no time nor place."
And they thought of their homes
from which they had so long been sepa-
rated, and as they were considering
whether they would search for Jesus in
Nazareth or in Capernaum, Peter said:
**Let us provide for sustenance, and not
be idle ; but let us work till the Master shall
call us to a higher labor."
After hearing what Peter had said, they
resolved to resume their former trades,
and Peter repaired to Bethsaida, where
some of the others also arrived before
many days, to assist him and receive his
The Letter 113
And Peter was a skillful fisherman, and
he invited the others to go with him to
sea in the evening.
Jesus traveled each day but a short dis-
tance, and on the way stopped only with
the Esseer friends who lived in the valleys.
And these brethren were well informed by
the Brotherhood in Jerusalem of all that
happened to us, and from these Jesus
learned that Joseph had been liberated
from prison and was on the way to meet
And when Jesus declared that he would
go forth in Galilee into the places where
he had been known before, the Esseer
friends entreated him that he should not
do this, and explained the many dangers
that were about him.
And Jesus heeded them, and reflected as
to the place where he would meet with his
disciples. And he selected a safe and lone-
ly place where he was not known and where
there was opportunity for his disciples to
114 The Crucifixion
But the Esseer friends had been advised
by the elder of the Brotherhood in Jeru-
salem to choose for a place of meeting the
lonely valley at the foot of Mount Karmel,
for the country is beautiful, and there live
many Esseers. The valleys abound in pow-
erful herbs, and the odors they give forth
are healthful to the wanderer.
From this place our Brotherhood re-
ceives the herbs its physicians use in medi-
cines. The clear water runs sparkling
from the rocks. These rocks contain many
caverns in which dwell they who seek the
And when the Esseer brethren advised
Jesus to go to this country, he remembered
how the prophets of old were said to have
lived in the same places, Elias as well as
And so it was that his mind was made up
to go thither, for there he could teach his
disciples without fear that his enemies
would find his dwelling place, for in this
country lived only members of our Order,
The Letter 115
But Jesus desired that none of the breth-
ren should accompany him, and so he jour-
neyed alone the road to Bethsaida, there
to remain with Simon, who was one of his
Arriving in the early morning at the
shore of the Sea of Galilee, he there found
a hut which Peter had built for his own
convenience in the pursuit of his trade.
And he found there Peter, and with him
John, and they were fishing. Here Jesus
refreshed himself, partaking with them of
the feast of love. Here he learned that all
the disciples had agreed to come together
in Bethsaida that they might there counsel
together what to do.
But Jesus called them to Mount Karmel,
as he had promised the Esseers. And on
the evening of the next day Jesus again
pursued his journey.
Having rested and refreshed himself
some days at the foot of Mount Karmel,
Jesus was prepared to teach again. Here
his disciples came, bringmg with them
116 The Crucifixion
many of his followers ; for here in this lone-
ly valley they were safe from danger, and
the account of the resurrection of Jesus
had created great excitement in Galilee.
But many of those who came were moved
only by the spirit of wonder. They had
come, therefore, to see Jesus do wonders
and perform miracles. Others hoped for
the coming of the new kingdom of Messias,
and the deliverance of the Jews from the
Jesus was sorely grieved in his heart
by these interpretations of his mission, for
often had he spoken of these things, saying
to his disciples that it was not meet that
the Son of God should be clothed with
worldly power and splendor.
But the Esseer brethren understood and
did not share in these errors, for they well
knew that according to the laws of the
Order which he had vowed to keep, our
brethren can take no part in matters of
state, nor aspire to worldly power.
And the people, desiring much to see Je-
The Letter 117
sus, were informed by the disciples that
the meeting would take place early in the
Jesus descended from the summit of the
mountain, where the fog assumed a red-
dish color from the sun. And because he
wore the white robe of the Esseer Order,
the people believed him to be a supernat-
ural being, and they threw themselves
down, with their faces to the ground. And
many of the people were terrified, and drew
aside out of his way.
And Jesus spoke with a loud voice, say-
ing that he had not come to found a school,
but the kingdom of God on earth, through
wisdom and virtue.
And he instituted baptism, and disclosed
to his disciples the knowledge he had
learned from the elders, how to heal the
sick, determine the virtues of minerals and
herbs as medicines, make harmless the sav-
age beasts, counteract the destroying ef-
fects of poison, and many other things.
And the disciples and the people that
118 The Crucifixion
had come with them, remained many days
in the valley, and Jesus taught them how
they should live and preach the doctrine
in his name.
But the Esseer brethren were informed
by the elder of the Brotherhood in Jeru-
salem that the secret messengers of the
priests and the grand council had been
told of the excitement in Galilee, and that
many people had repaired to the valley of
And the brethren warned Jesus of his
danger, that he might avoid his enemies
and thus fulfil his mission. For they had
been secretly informed that Caiaphas in-
tended quietly to arrest and assassinate
Jesus, in that he believed him to be a de-
Jesus thereupon sent away his hearers
and told them that if they would speak
with him thereafter they must go thence
to Bethabara, where he would await them.
Having spoken much to the people and
taught them, he was weary and in need of
The Letter 119
And the time came when the Esseers
partake of their feast of love. And all the
brethren in the valley assembled in the
house where Jesus dwelt. Joseph of Ari-
mathea and Nicodemus and we the elders
of the Brotherhood in Jerusalem departed
to be together with him.
But Jesus was yet weak from his suffer-
ing, and his great joy at seeing again his
beloved friends, Joseph and Nicodemus,
caused him great excitement. And he
spoke much concerning his death.
**Do not misapprehend me if I have not
in everything lived according to the rules
of our Brotherhood. For if I had labored in
secret, as you have done, the truth would
not now be known to the multitudes.
**Even in public can the wise practice
wisdom, the chosen virtue."
And Jesus exhorted the brethren to lay
aside their secrecy and go forth among
the people, and unite with his disciples to
teach together with them.
And the words he spoke took root in the
120 The Crucifixion
hearts of many of the brethren, and there-
fore I now find many of them witness for
Jesus, and have left their solitude.
And Joseph spoke to Jesus, saying:
*^Knowest thou that the people who do
not altogether understand your doctrine,
are meditating to proclaim you a worldly
king, to overthrow the Eomans 1 But thou
must not disturb the kingdom of God
through war and revolution. Therefore
choose the solitude. Live with the Esseer
friends and be in safety, that your doc-
trine may be proclaimed by your dis-
But the elders of the Brotherhood were
reflecting that it would cause great excite-
ment among the people if Jesus were thus
to disappear like the sun in the evening,
and not reappear.
But Jesus feared that the words of Jo-
seph might prove true, and he would not
suffer that blood should flow for his sake,
nor that revolution should cause destruc-
The Letter 121
Therefore he consented that he would go
into solitude, his body being very weak.
And with Joseph and Nicodemus he went
to Bethania. On the way they conversed
together concerning the secrets of the
Brotherhood; and Jesus desired to take
leave of his friends in Bethania, and return
to the lonely country near the Dead Sea.
In Bethania he comforted his mother,
also the other friends of Lazarus, and ex-
plained to them that according to his doc-
trine he always was with them and re-
mained with them.
But the knowledge that Jesus was in the
vicinity of Jerusalem soon came to all his
followers, and many came together and
were directed to repair to a secret place at
a fixed time. Thither now went Jesus.
And here many hundred people had come
together, and as they made manifest their
belief that Jesus would establish a worldly
kingdom and liberate the land of his peo-
ple from the yoke of the Eomans, he in-
structed them and taught them that this
would not come to pass.
122 The Crucifixion
But Jesus perceived that it was expe-
dient that he should go away again into the
solitude, that the people should no more
believe that his kingdom was of this world,
but that they should believe in his words
and his doctrines as the word of God.
That day it came to pass that Jesus went
to Jerusalem, and his trusted disciples
went with him.
But the high council already had sent
out many secret messengers to circulate
false rumors, and make Jesus a captive.
But Jesus was warned and protected by
the Esseer brethren. He was now both
faint and weak. His wounds again began
to pain him, and his face was pale.
When Jesus entered the city with Peter
and John, his friends conducted him into
a solitary house. Here he called to him
the elders of the Esseer Order.
He said to them that his time for rest
was near at hand, and instructed them to
wait for him at the *' Olive Mount," and
thence accompany him to the place of soli-
The Letter 123
Thereupon he gathered together his
disciples, and went through the city and
out of the gate that leads to the valley of
And his soul was greatly moved, and his
heart was filled with sadness, for he knew
that this would be his last walk.
Arriving at Kedron, he tarried for a lit-
tle while and wept over Jerusalem. Thence
he went forward in silence, and his disciples
And Jesus led them to the place most
dear to him, near the summit of Mount
Olivet, where can be seen almost the whole
of the land of Palestine ; for Jesus longed
once more to look upon the country where
he had lived and worked.
To the east was seen Jordan, the Dead
Sea and the Arabian Mountains; and to
the west shone the fires from the Temple
Eock; but on the other side of the moun-
tain was Bethania.
And the chosen disciples believed that
Jesus would lead them to Bethania. But
124 The Crucifixion
the elders of the Brotherhood had silently
come together on the other side of the
mountain, ready to travel, waiting with
Jesus, as had been agreed upon.
And he exhorted his disciples to be of
good cheer, and firm in their faith. As he
spoke his voice grew more and more melan-
choly, and his mind was absorbed in solemn
He prayed for the friends he was about
to leave, and lifting his arms he blessed
them. And the mist rose around the moun-
tain, tinted by the descending sun.
Then the elders of the Esseer Brother-
hood sent word to Jesus that they were
waiting, and that it was then already late.
As the disciples knelt down, their faces
bent toward the ground, Jesus rose and
hastily went away through the gathering
mist. When the disciples rose there stood
before then! two of our brethren in the
white garb of our Brotherhood, and they
instructed them not to wait for Jesus, as
he was gone, whereupon they hastened
away down the mountain.
The Letter 125
But the disappearance of Jesus filled his
disciples with new hope and confidence, for
now they knew that they themselves were
to proclaim the word of Jesus, as he, their
beloved, would return no more.
Therefore faithfully they kept together
and daily went to the temple and to the
places where he had taught them, and the
enemies dared not molest them.
But in the city there arose a rumor that
Jesus was taken up in a cloud, and had
gone to heaven. This was invented by the
people who had not been present when
Jesus departed. The disciples did not con-
tradict this rumor, inasmuch as it served
to strengthen their doctrine, and influenced
the people who wanted a miracle in order
to believe in him.
John, who was present, knew all of these
things, but he had not spoken nor written
anything about it. Likewise Matthew.
There are others who have gathered the
rumors thereof into an illustration, which
they believed themselves, as they were
moved by the spirit to glorify Jesus.
126 The Crucifixion
Thus, one of them named Marcus wrote
to a congregation in Rome and gave an
account of this event, but inasmuch as he
had not been present, his source of infor-
mation was only the rumors among the
Even thus is it with Lucas, who tried to
do the same.
But the disciples were advised by the
Esseer brethren to assume the customs and
manners of the Esseens for the sake of
unanimity. Therefore they formed a soci-
ety wherein even the women took an offi-
cious part, especially Mary and her friends
But Jesus was accompanied on his way
by the elders of the Brotherhood, likewise
by Joseph and Nicodemus ; and in the night
time they procured a beast of burden for
Jesus, who grew more faint. His mind was
greatly moved at leaving his friends, and
he felt that his death would soon come.
When, at the end of their journey, they
had come to the Esseer brethren by the
The Letter 127
Dead Sea, Jesus was in deep suffering, so
that only the physicians could care for him.
Joseph and Nicodemus remained with him,
and having heard his wishes in lengthy con-
versations, they took leave of him, promis-
ing to inform him minutely concerning the
affairs of the congregation in Jerusalem.
But in Jerusalem none save John and
Matthew knew that Jesus had returned to
the solitude of the Order, that the people
might not proclaim him their worldly king.
But Joseph and Nicodemus had three
times been with him in his place of conceal-
ment. And on their return they informed
us of him. But his body was not vigorous
enough to overcome the sufferings he had
endured for want of rest.
His soul longed for his disciples, and he
was anxious that nothing should be neg-
lected. His restless mind found no consola-
tion in the solitude, and anxiety consumed
his vital powers.
But Joseph and Nicodemus had been
with him the last time when the sixth full
128 The Crucifixion
moon was waning, and they came to our
Brotherhood as we were preparing to par-
take of the feast of love, and revealed the
secret to the elder of the Order.
And their hearts were sorely grieved, for
the chosen one was taken np into the heav-
enly dwellings of the Father.
The Eternal Spirit had gently burst the
clay, and tranquil as his life was his death.
And he was buried by the physician close
by the Dead Sea, as bids the regulations of
But Nicodemus enjoined silence concern-
ing the death of his friend, to all who did
not belong to the highest degree.
Here, my dear brethren, you have the
only true account of our friend, whom God
had called to teach wisdom and virtue to
the people through parables and noble
It is now a long time since then, and the
Jews have seven times eaten the passover
when I now write this for your informa-
tion. And thus you may judge of the truth
The Letter 129
of the tradition as it is told by the people.
For I know that many of his new disci-
ples tell of miracles, even as they them-
selves have wished it might be. And the
thoughtful do not contradict them, for the
people are not yet wise enough to receive
the truth without adding to it that which
As you yourself have conceived, there
are many rumors come from Eome that I
need not contradict, for you know yourself
what a Brother of our Order has to do and
not to do.
But not only the Jews tell of superhuman
things concerning him that they believe, but
also the Romans; for the pagans believe
in gods, and these are identified with the
miracles told by the Jews.
And I give you the authority to inform
the elders of our Brotherhood in your coun-
try, what I have written to you, but not
the novices nor those of the other degrees.
For his is the glory, the Son of God, whom
we all worship more than the others who
are removed to heaven.
130 The Crucifixion
And what Jesus has taught while he
lived we ought to promote with good-will.
For he has explained the doctrine minutely
to everyone. He has revealed the secret,
therefore receive everyone friendly who is
called by his name ; for his disciples will go
to all countries, and you will know them
by their greeting, which is the same as that
of our Order. And you ought to help them
as our Brotherhood in Jerusalem and the
whole country has served the Son of the
This is what I have to say. And as it is
written, thus it has passed. For the elders
of our Brotherhood have witnessed these
things themselves, and my own eyes have
seen him, and my ears heard him, and I am
a friend of Joseph who sits in the grand
And forward to the brethren the greet-
ing : Peace be with you.
OF THE GERMAN TRANSLATOR
FOR an enlightened Christian it will be
wholly indifferent whether the life of
Jesus, as recorded by the gospel, has an
historical foundation or not. It remains a
scientific problem whether Jesus really
died on the cross, or was taken down only
apparently dead, and not a religious one;
for in the moral world the very determina-
tion to die for truth and virtue ought to be
considered as highly as the physical death.
The intelligent man, that has made the
thought clear through science and study,
and overcome the superstition of tradition,
may be a true defender of the Christian
spirit if he even doubts everything in the
gospel that appears to him in any way
mythical or inexplicable.
But there are men to whom only that
132 The Crucifixion
is holy that they cannot explain or compre-
hend themselves; and others, again, who
will try to lull their own minds into tran-
quil faith on undoubted scriptural author-
ity; men that consider the outward events
for the aim of Jesus' life, and keep their
minds chained down to a dead literal faith ;
further, there are persons who, through
their simplicity of mind and education, do
not ponder on the subject at all, who con-
sider sinful every examination into the
ideas prevailing in past centuries.
There are also persons who keep others
in ignorance that they may not examine
into the account of the miracles.
All such persons are not true defenders
of the Christian spirit, and the therein con-
tained moral liberty of thought. Such per-
sons will never take a step toward the im-
provement of the Christian spirit in the
external life, and it is just therein Chris-
tianity ought to appear, not therein that
men absorb themselves in their own selfish
conceits, expecting the spirit without doing
Translator's Remarks 133
anything themselves. No, the Christian
spirit ought to be introduced into the actual
ever changing life, to be modified to the
wants of the every-day life.
These reflections did the translator pon-
der upon when he tried to understand how
orthodox and superstitious people could
imagine every thread in the garb of the
Saviour a product of Divinity, or how they
in individual impotence or spiritual bond-
age, with eager hands, grasp for a pillar in
superstition and bigotry, this class of per-
sons coming across the old Esseer letter,
would necessarily charge it with profanity,
and above all with non-genuineness.
Although it cannot be proven by living
witnesses that the original, from which the
Latin copy is translated, was a genuine
document of the time of which it informs,
yet this letter contains so many interesting
events, singularly corresponding with the
account of the gospel, and recorded with-
out any apparent motive of the author, in
a pious, simple and in no way excited
134 The Crucifixion
Just through the simplicity of the author
will many inexplicable events and mytho-
logical accidents in the life of Jesus appear
clear that were leading threads, and there
is much that may be explained by the ex-
ternal life of Jesus and his spiritual mis-
And when we minutely examine into the
account given by the Esseers, raised as
they were above the common superstition
of their time and well informed in the
secrets of nature, we find effects and con-
sequences rationally explained and many
things made clear that the gospel surrounds
It is to be regretted that there are in our
day people who consider the Christian life
profaned by the rational and reasonable
explanation and account of the miracles,
even when it has the stamp of testamental
accuracy, and is placed on a natural foun-
dation, although any man possessed of
common understanding remains convinced
of the non-existence of miracles ; while the
Translator's Remarks 135
superstitious, in miracle believing, often is
brought in situations where he is given to
hypocrisy and conceit for to be able to be-
It is just this hypocrisy that so often fills
the mind of the rational thinker with dis-
gust. And in the present, as well as to
all times, the religious people have been
divided in the same three directions mto
which it already was directed at the time
of Christ. Even the present time has its
**Esseers,'' its ^^Sadducees'* and its
* * Pharisees. * '
Both then and now the number of the
Esseer defenders of the faith are few. It
comprises of the free scientific thinkers, of
they that search for truth, of they that
exercise virtue in every idea of life, of they
that can understand and explain the ac-
quired wisdom and make it useful. To
these, as the old recovered document
proves, Jesus belonged ; and this is as much
more probable, as the gospel never reports
Jesus to have spoken against the Esseen,
136 The Crucifixion
although in many ways he combated against
the doctrines of the Sadducees and the
Even the present time has its Sadducees,
the same class of infidels as now, raised
above tradition, gormandizing, worldly
rich men, who, unconcerned about eternity,
wished to enjoy themselves in this life.
But to all times the Pharisees have been
numerous. From time immemorial has
hypocrisy been the handmaiden to embrace
every tradition that has characterized
them. With them have good and bad
angels exercised their undefined influence.
The miracles have spurred them to outward
piety, outward hypocritical gestures and
public benevolent acts, which have served
as a cloak for the corrupted soul.
The translator of the old recovered per-
gament views the matter from the Esseen
standard, and feels satisfied to know that
this view of the matter has got to be a ne-
cessity for every free-minded, scientific, un-
prejudiced and really intelligent man.
Translator's Remarks 137
Several efforts have been made already in
past times to explain the myths of the gos-
pel rationally, and, indeed, penetrating
minds have succeeded to give them the
character of probability, but they could not
be proved through any historical event, as
the canonical dictators defined, what was
authentical, only that which was service-
able to their canonical reign, and declared
all such traditions to be apocryphical that
will say not useful, which in reality were
built on historical foundation, or were not
written according to the desire of a holy
seer for miracles.
Even the Esseen letter that we have re-
corded above would by them have been con-
sidered apocryphical writing.
If we examine the Esseen letter, that is
written to a brother of the Order in Alex-
andria to inform him and the other breth-
ren of the highest degree of the Brother-
hood concerning the wonderful events that
transpired in Jerusalem, and which
through rumors were made known all over
138 The Crucifixion
Asia, we will find many points of great
interest, that invite to a closer reflection.
In the first place, it is to be noted that the
Esseen brethren in Alexandria doubted the
reports of miracles that the rumor had
brought them, and that they, to obtain in-
formation, wrote to the Brotherhood in
Jerusalem to hear their opinion. Thus
there were already many people there that
were raised above the superstitions of the
From the letter we also see that Jesus
himself, brought up in the school of the
Essees, did not believe in miracles, al-
though his mother, with her excitable mind
and full belief in the Jewish traditions of
miracles, had a powerful influence on him
in his childhood and youth.
But the letter also describes that Joseph,
his foster-father, had a great influence on
the mind of Jesus, as it is said about him
that he was a man of great experience.
The Esseers protected the child in its life
until it was old enough to be received into
Translator's Remarks 139
the Order as a member. According to the
letter, this took place in the country near
Jutha, where lived then an Esseen Brother-
hood. Here it was that he was met by the
elder of the Brotherhood, probably calcu-
lated by the Essees to prepare him for his
reception into the Order.
It is also told that here he was received
into the Order contemporary with his
friend John, and further on in the letter is
recorded that John, who after his becom-
ing a member perfected himself for a phy-
sician, was killed by the enemies. No doubt
hereby is meant John the Baptist, who thus
also has been an Esseer.
It may appear remarkable that Jesus,
as a member of the Esseen Order and
knowing all the secrets and duties of the
Brotherhood, did not live in the solitude
and join some particular Brotherhood.
But Jesus felt called to preach to the peo-
ple, and could not satisfy his active mind
by passing his time in the solitude, and
not teach the special doctrines abroad that
he felt it his mission to proclaim.
140 The Crucifixion
We even see that the elders of his breth-
ren always were desiring him to withdraw
into the solitude, and not endanger his life
among the people. We also are informed
that towards the end of his life Jesus ex-
plained to his brethren his motive of not
staying more with them than he did, and at
last he took their advice and retired into
But of particular importance is the
minute record of the sufferings of Jesus,
and the way in which he conducted himself
on the cross. The gospel records that
Jesus really died on the cross, and thereby
it stamps his recovery as a miracle, which
the intelligent man considers a myth, and
from which he extracts the allegorical
meaning. But in this letter we are in-
formed of events in their simple represen-
tation that contains so much that is proba-
ble, and with the circumstances corre-
sponding, that it actually will be a neces-
sity to believe on it.
The fact that Jesus only apparently died
Translator's Remarks 141
on the cross does not in the least diminish
the sacredness of his mission, for his death
for the divine truth was fulfilled thereby,
that he, full of resignation, suffered the
pain of death till his physical life was ex-
In the old letter is recorded that he did
not die on the cross, but passed into un-
consciousness. Even the way in which
Jesus appeared to die on the cross makes
the probability of apparent death possible.
First, he lost consciousness very early, so
that even Pilate doubted his death, and be-
fore he allowed him taken down from the
cross he ordered the Eoman Centurio to
convince himself thereof. Secondly, by the
then existing mode of crucifixion, was it
not uncommon that the crucified could be
brought to life.
We are also informed by the historians
of that date that it was not an uncommon
thing that crucified criminals were brought
back to life after being taken down from
the cross. It is also proved that these un-
142 The Crucifixion
fortunates, among nations that did not
have the Jewish custom of not allowing the
crucified to hang on the cross over night,
often would hang on the cross eight or nine
days before death at last put an end to
their dreadful sufferings.
When we examine into the methods of
the crucifixion as it was executed on Jesus,
we will be convinced that it could not be
impossible for life to remain for a long
time. Not any of the appliances used were
mortal, and first got to be so when they
acted for such a long time that the vital
power was not able of reaction. Arms and
feet were bound with thick and hard cords
so tight that not only these limbs became
numb, but even the circulation of the blood
was almost stopped thereby.
That this actually was the case is proved
by the description of the old historians,
that the piercing of the hands with thick
spikes produced no great expression of
pain, and only for a while caused bleeding.
But the physiological consequence of thus
Translator's Remarks 143
tightly lacing the limbs would be the forc-
ible pushing back of the blood to the brain
and heart, whereby would be produced fits
of apoplexy and deep swoonings.
Both the thieves that were crucified with
Jesus still lived when he was taken down
and showed outward signs of life. Other-
wise their bones would not have been
crushed, as was the custom, and which was
not done to Jesus, as they thought him
dead. As he was exhausted already from
the scourging, it is easily explained how
he so soon passed into a state of uncon-
sciousness and apparent death. Even the
gospel records that he was very weak —
that he sank down under the weight of the
In the Esseen letter a particular weight
is laid on the wound in the side, and the
physiological knowledge of Nicodemus, who
in this letter is ascribed great secret knowl-
edge of nature, and especially in the Esseen
science of curing, is indeed to be admired ;
for it is recorded that Nicodemus, from the
144 The Crucifixion
condition of the wound, received new hope
that Jesus was not actually dead, and his
hope was realized.
If Jesus really had been dead the wound
could not bleed for such a long time, and
especially not emit water and blood. An
actual dead corpse will not bleed from an
external wound that does not sever any
arteries, because at the discontinuation of
the circulation the blood very shortly will
Thus Nicodemus conceived that the cir-
culation of the blood in Jesus ' body had not
ceased, and therefore, having sent the in-
fluential Joseph to Pilate, he hurried away
to procure the proper drugs, pretending
that he wanted to embalm the body.
The Esseen letter speaks repeatedly of
the wound above the hip. Thus this wound
was lower down than what is generally
believed and represented.
If we now take in consideration that the
wound with the spear was not made to give
Jesus the finishing stroke, but very care-
Translator's Remarhs 145
fully, to see if the corpse would show any
convulsions or signs of life, and thereby
prove that he actually was dead — if we fur-
ther consider that the thrust took effect
close above the hip, and from the soldiers
standing below would have to be made in
an inclined manner in an almost parallel
direction with Jesus ' side, it is evident that
no vital organ could have been severed,
and the spear may only have pierced the
In the letter this wound is not considered
dangerous, and more attention is paid to
the wounds in the hands after the spikes.
Thus it appears that these were considered
more dangeroUs. It is positively recorded
that his feet were not pierced, as this was
not the custom at crucifixions.
Even if the apparent death of Jesus in
the old letter was not maintained as a fact,
still the existing historical circumstances
make it more than probable.
When we further pursue the letter and
compare it with the gospel reports, we will
146 The Crucifixion
in neither of tliem find contradiction as
regards facts. The only difference is that
in the gospel all is transformed into a
miraculous Oriental tradition, when the
Esseer letter, on the other hand, pays no
attention to any supernatural, undefined
and imaginative illustration, but records
tlfip' facts as they are.
A dead corpse cannot walk about, for as
long as the world has existed God never
did contradict himself by overthrowing
eternal laws of nature. Even if a single
law of nature was set aside, the whole end-
less chain of cause and effects, where every
law keeps the other in balance, they would
fall together in a chaos.
If Jesus really as a messenger could go
about, speak, eat and drink, even other men
could do the same. But as the laws of
nature do not permit of it, it has not been
possible even in the case of Jesus. When
ignorant and unintelligent men say, **for
God is everything possible, ' ' it only shows
their ignorance of the Divine nature; for
Translator's Remarks 147
no more than God can suffer the east rising
sun to rise henceforth in the west, no more
can he produce anything else in contrast
to his eternal laws of nature.
The Esseen letter in its representation
of these events has therefore the important
advantage that it treats with things pos-
sible in nature. The recovery of Jesus is,
according to this letter, supported by many
circumstances that even now can easily be
Jesus was not, as his companions in suf-
fering, beaten with heavy clubs, and the
letter even indicates the fear of Joseph
and Nicodemus that this would be done. If
it had been done no recovery had been pos-
sible, and it would have been foolish to
But nature assisted the Essees in their
The fact that they carefully took him
down from the cross, bound around him
leaves that were saturated with salves and
liquids that were prepared from the aro-
148 The Crucifixion
matic herbs of the Orient, and jfilled with
powerful fragrant qualities, the proximity
of the grotto, where the body was laid on
soft moss, where the spices might evapo-
rate, and, together with the smoke of the
aloe, necessarily must exercise an animat-
ing influence on the benumbed nerves.
Further, the bleeding of the wound in the
side, that was a sure sign of the still exist-
ing circulation of the blood, must neces-
sarily assist the slumbering life to assume
its functions by leading away the blood
that during the crucifixion had been forced
back to the heart, brain and lungs, and
thereby benumbed these organs, so that the
circulation of the blood could take place.
The earthquake exercised a magnetic,
electric, animating influence on the nerves,
and when at last the shaking of the ground
in the direction of the grotto filled the
grave with electric gases at the same
time that the body shook, it could not but
cause him to awake from his slumber of
Translator's Remarks 149
All these circumstances are powerful
means of calling back the slumbering to
life, especially in the Orient.
Furthermore, Nicodemus, the expe-
rienced physician, and Joseph, the tender-
hearted friend of Jesus, hoping the best
from the operation of the drugs, went to-
gether in the night to receive more minute
information of the recovered but still weak
Jesus. That the Esseen youths in their
white flowing garb of the Order could be
considered supernatural beings — angels —
is easily explained by the excited state of
mind of the concerned persons, and the
imaginative mind of the Orientals.
In the old letter is plainly showed that
Jesus was brought back to life only through
the exertions of the Essees, and this is
easily explained by he vowing that the
Order should be unto him as father and
mother, and they in their turn fulfilled all
their motherly duties.
The circumstance that Jesus never ap-
peared in two places at the same time also
150 The Crucifixion
speaks against the miraculous representa-
tion of his life. But indeed he was sub-
jected to time and place like other mortal
Another miraculous representation is the
ascension of Jesus. Men that can believe
in the body rising from actual death can
also unconditionally believe in the possi-
bility of a bodily ascension to heaven.
But the intelligent man, who from scien-
tific and rational reasons considers it im-
possible for an actual dead body to return
to life, will see in the ascension another
Jewish tradition — one of the apotheoses
that were usual in olden times, not alone
among the Jewish people, to glorify the
memory of distinguished persons. With
the Jewish people had the religious tradi-
tion formed, the firm belief that all
prophets ought to ascend to heaven, and
the tradition of Elias and his chariot of fire
is a side-piece to the one of Jesus' ascen-
It is not doubted of such that possess a
Translator's Remarks 151
scientific knowledge of death and its nat-
ural course, that Jesus did not bodily as-
cend to heaven as Marcus and Lucas report
(two men who were not present, and
formed their account only from the
rumors). Indeed, this representation
stands in opposition to the Christian
thought that Paul has expressed so glo-
riously. Paul says in the first letter to the
Corinthians, chap, xv., v. 50: **Now this I
say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth
corruption inherit incorruption."
Even if it were a secret, what happened
on Mount Olive, the two disciples that were
present, Matthew and John, in their
writings, do not inform us a single
word about the ascension. Even then
the Esseen letter's account would be
a very interesting one — that Jesus on the
Mount only took a usual departure and
afterwards fulfilled the duties of the
Esseen Order by living a secluded life.
When we are informed that Jesus retired
152 The Crucifixion
into solitude, and even from his vow to the
Order, that he promised that when his dis-
ciples wanted him he would manifest him-
self unto them, it is evident that he did
not leave the earth. But even with Jesus
the traditions of the Jewish people and the
old prophecy appear to have had some in-
fluence, and instinctively guided many of
his actions and parables, for even he was
a child of his time and brought up in the
traditions of his nation.
The Esseen letter records that Jesus
died in solitude six months afterwards, as
a result of his sufferings, that had pros-
trated and broken his constitution and his
excited mind. It were to be wished that
even the place was recorded where he died
and was buried. The old Esseen does not
give any account of the place, probably on
account of being recommended silence on
that subject by the Order.
ORDER OF ESSEES
THE JEWISH PEOPLE
A MANUSCRIPT FOR FREEMASONS
OEDEE OF ESSEES
*'And ye shall he unto me a priestly king-
dom, and a holy people."
—2 M. B., chap. 14, v. 6.
BY THE time when the greatest teacher
of the Word, the great mediator,
Jesus Christ, stepped forth among the
Jewish people, proclaiming his doctrines
of light and heavenly truths, that these
his doctrines might spread light and
warmth over the earth, and peace in the
weary heart of men, had the above spoken
of people in general very much deviated
from the path of the Lord, from the knowl-
edge of him, and from the doctrines of
divinity given to Abraham and handed
down to Isaac, Jacob and their descend-
ants, and afterwards further interpreted
and explained by the man of God, Moses.
The interpreters of the Scriptures in the
different ages of the Old Testament, or
156 The Crucifixion
the Scribes, had contrived to attribute to
the holy Scriptures the meaning and exple-
cation that was most convenient to their
material advantage, estimation among the
people, or their own wishes. Indeed, we
find in the Scriptures of the Old Testa-
ment that holy men of the school of the
prophets often stepped forth as the cham-
pions of truth and defenders of light, who
severely reproached the people for their
sins and vices, and severely warned the
false teachers who led the people astray
and misinterpreted the laws of the Lord.
But the people seldom heeded them, and
many of them fell victims and martyrs for
the vengeance of the priests, the scribes,
and the fury of the people.
By the time that Jesus Christ and his
great predecessor, John, stepped forth
among the people, the Jewish people was
separated into several religious sects, that
each had different views on religion. But
even from the day that Moses, according to
the command of God, consecrated the peo-
Order of Essees 157
pie to *'A covenant people to the Lord."
2 M. B. 19 Chapt.
There was always among them a certain
class by whom the name of the Lord Jeho-
vah was worshipped in truth and purity.
Already in the time of the first Judges ap-
peared this class as a distinct Order or
Brotherhood, named **Nazirees,'' ^*Naza-
rees, "or * * Nazarenes, ' ' and in the time of
the Kings we find this Brotherhood under
the name of the so-called *^ School of the
Prophets. ' '
The members of this holy union had the
design, * * To love and worship God in purity
of heart, and to the best of their ability
work on their own ennobling and perfec-
tion; and of all their might to further the
happiness and peace of their fellow men. ' '
In time of the Maccabai, this interest-
ing Brotherhood appears under the name
of **Hasidees," eller **Assidees," that is,
* * the holy, " * * the pious ' ' ; and afterwards,
in the time of St. John the Baptist and the
great Master, under the name of
158 The Crucifixion
**Esseers/' or * * Essenes, ' ' that is, the
** children of peace.''
It is not to be wondered at, that the
scriptures of the New Testament do not
directly mention this important and sig-
nificant Brotherhood, as they lived sepa-
rated from the world, as a defined Order,
and admitted nobody that had not under-
gone a term of trial for three years and
sworn not to disclose for any outsiders
what took place in their meetings. This
Order had a material influence on the cul-
ture and enlightening of the age and the
ages that were to come.
In the New Testament there are many
expressions and references that directly
appear to the thinker and the unprejudiced
interpreter of the Bible, that indirectly
speak of this Brotherhood; and just by
these may be explained many undefined
and dark quotations in the Scriptures, and
rationally conceived, that otherwise would
appear inexplicable and obscure. We will
afterwards represent instances of this
Order of Essees 159
But before we proceed to a more minute
illustration of this most remarkable Broth-
erhood, we will first pay attention to the, in
Jesus' time, most important and differing
sects of religion among the Jewish people.
These, first, the Pharisees, a sect full of
hypocrisy and egotism. They distinguished
themselves by rigidly observing all the out-
ward forms of the Mosaic law, assumed
holiness, haughtiness and ambition in uni-
son with greedy aim after earthly win-
nings, but did care little for the real purify-
ing of the heart or true humanity; and
combined with these peculiarities great de-
sire for dignity and worldly esteem. At
public meetings they always endeavored to
be the principal ones and aspired generally
for the esteem and favor of the people.
The Master Jesus often severely re-
proached them therefor, and warned and
exhorted the people to shun their false doc-
trines in the sayings :
**Take heed and beware of the leaven of
the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
160 The Crucifixion
Math. Evang. Chap. 16, and in the same
gospel, Chap. 23, where he four times cries
*^Wo" unto them, he says **Wo nnto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye
make clean the outside of the cup and of
the platter, but within they are full of ex-
tortion and excess.''
It is evident from this and several other
quotations of the same kind, where Jesus
reprimands them severely and rebukes
them, that he considered the Pharisees the
most vicious, cunning and dangerous of all
Next we have, second, the Sadducees.
These were a kind of philosophers who de-
nied the immortality of the soul and a life
after this, and they teached that they de-
ceived themselves who lived a pious and
devoted life and exercised virture, hoping
therefor to get their reward after death.
Such a reward after death there was not,
but it always was a necessary duty that
men should fulfil to themselves, by living
a virtuous and good life, as they then, more
Order of Essees 161
contented in their mind, could proceed on
their way through life, and in consequence
thereof would the burden of life be easier
This was their peculiar interpretation of
the moral meaning of the commandments,
but yet it preserved them from the hypoc-
risy and the dissembling of the Pharisees.
The Sadducees showed themselves open-
ly to the world such as they in reality were,
in a life intermixed with virtues, faults and
vices. Toward the Master, Jesus, they
never showed such an animosity as the
Pharisees. On the contrary, they often
with great attention and admiration seemed
to listen to his doctrines of wisdom.
They were more energetic and active
than the Pharisees, and as they, like the
former, had a great desire for acquiring
wealth and worldly possessions, they were
generally rich and considered the wealthi-
est class among the Jews. The king,
** Herod, '^ belonged to the sect of the Sad-
ducees and acknowledged their doctrines.
162 The Crucifixion
The third sect comprised the Publicans.
They are not to be considered as a distinct
religious sect, but it is evident that they
widely differed from the above named
sects, and the so-called ^* proper Jews,'' in
their religious belief; and this is even
shown by the contempt in which they were
held by the common people.
But we have reasons to believe that this
contempt often was unmerited, as they
were often kindly received by the Master,
Jesus, and he friendly communed with
many of them. He speaks thus of himself
in unison with them in Math. Chap, xi, v.
19: **The Son of Man came eating and
drinking and they say, behold a man glut-
tonous, and a wine bibber, a friend of Pub-
licans and sinners.'' But even the life of
these he reproached on several occasions.
In Math. 5 Chap., v. 46, he says: **For if
ye love them which love you, what reward
have ye; do not even the Publicans the
Every Jew who had knowledge of the
Order of Essees 163
Scriptures of the Old Testament, shortly
everybody that examined into things and
claimed to possess the culture of his time,
generally belonged to either the Pharisees,
Sadducees, or the Essees.
We know with certainty, and the writings
of the Evangelists do not deny it, but to the
contrary strengthen this fact, that the Mas-
ter's great predecessor, John, from his in-
fancy was adopted and brought up in the
School of the Esseen Order, and there ac-
quired his knowledge and wisdom.
We cannot here give any information on
this subject, of what the higher degrees
of the Order did know about it, as this
description of the old Essees is written for
the benefit of the brethren of all degrees,
we will therefore confine ourselves to ex-
amining the gospel and other New Testa-
mental Scriptures for testimony to prove
It is evident from the gospel that John
neither belonged to the sect of the Phari-
sees nor to that of the Sadducees. He re-
164 The Crucifixion
buked them both severely for their lives, —
as his great successor, — and when many of
both the Pharisees and Sadducees came to
him at Salem on the bank of the Jordan to
be baptized by him, he said to them: **0
generation of vipers, who hath warned you
to flee from the wrath to come? Bring
forth therefore fruits meet for repent-
ance. ' ' Math. 3 Chap., 7 and 8 v.
Herod adhered, as above mentioned, to
the doctrine of the Sadducees, and it was
this Herod, whom John so severely rebuked
on several occasions for Herodias his
brother Philip 's wife, and ^ ' for all the evils
which Herod had done, added yet this
above all, that he shut up John in prison. ' '
Luco, iii. Chap. 19-25.
Lucas the Evangelist relates to us in his
iii. chap., 12 and 13 v. : * * Then came also
Publicans to be baptized and said unto
him, * Master, what shall we do?' And he
said unto them, ^ Exact no more than that
which is appointed to you. ' ' '
John says about himself in the gospel of
Order of Essees 165
John, 1 Chap. 23 v.: **I am the voice of
one crying in the wilderness''; and the
Evangelists add that this answer did he
give to * * they which were sent were of the
Marcus says of John in his 1 Chap., 4 to
6 vs.: **John did baptize in the wilderness
and preach the baptism of repentance for
the remission of sins. And John was
clothed with camel's hair and with a girdle
of a skin about his loins, and he did eat
locusts and wild honey ' ' ; and in about the
same words and sense does Matthew speak
of John in his third chapter.
We might cite more instances of the same
kind, but these ought to be sufficient to
show that the Scriptures of the New Testa-
ment give a positive proof for the con-
tended point that John did not belong to
either the school of the Pharisees or that
of the Sadducees. At the same time it
gives more than a negative proof for the
conclusion that he belonged to the holy
order of the Esseers; and the more we
166 The Crucifixion
study the writings of the Evangelists and
interpreters of the Bible, and consider who
were the friends of John, and the doctrine
he preached to the people, the more are we
convinced that he belonged to the Essees.
By comparing all the above named with
the manner of life, ceremonies and funda-
mental belief of the Essees, we are thereby
convinced that this champion of truth was
the messenger of the Brotherhood to pre-
pare the way for Jesus and to promote his
mission, who indeed had sent him.
We will proceed to a truthful illustration
of this Brotherhood, as we find it related
of authentic authors from the commence-
ment of the New Testament time, and let
these speak for themselves.
Of all the Gentile authors, none give
more authentic and minute information on
the subject than the Jewish historian,
Josephus, in his work, De Bello Judaico,
8 Chap., 2-13 vs.; and especially in his
Historia Antiqua Judaico, 3 Book, 5 Chap.
He lived both before and after the de-
Order of Essees 167
struction of Jerusalem by Titus, and as
he himself belonged to the Esseen order,
and had undergone the ordered term of
trial for three years, his accounts merit
our belief of its authenticity. Of his admis-
sion into this Order he writes as follows :
**When I had reached my sixteenth year
did I undertake to examine into our dif-
ferent religious sects and their doctrines,
that having come to know them I might
choose the one that to me appeared the
best. I have already mentioned that there
were three sects of Pharisees, Sadducees,
** Having resolved this, did I at once
begin to prepare myself in different ways
that I might be found worthy to be admit-
ted into the Order of Essees. In order to
accomplish this, I turned to a man called
Banus, of whom was told that he belonged
to the Brotherhood of Essees, and lived in
the wilderness, made his clothes out of the
bark and leaves of the trees, fed upon wild
fruits, plants and herbs, and from holiness
168 The Crucifixion
bathed several times night and day in cold
**In this man's company I spent three
entire years, undergoing all kinds of trials,
temptations and privations, and then re-
turned to the city (Jerusalem.) When I
had filled my nineteenth year did I com-
mence to shape my life and habits accord-
ing to the doctrines of the Pharisees, and
this sect is very similar to the Grecian
Of these, Josephus' own words, we are
informed that he actually had undergone
the, according to the Esseen law, ordered
term of trial; and although he afterwards
returned to Jerusalem, and in the future
obeyed the doctrines of the Pharisees, yet
did he continue to remain a member of
the Esseen Brotherhood, and was admitted
into their meetings as long as he did not
transgress the duties of the Order, or in
any way did break the oath that he had
taken at his initiation.
It was not before the Jewish kingdom
Order of Essees 169
was destroyed by Titus, Jerusalem and
most of the other cities of the country laid
in ashes, and the members of the Esseen
Orders widely dispersed, that Josephus in
his writings committed to the world what
we here will communicate.
Josephus was of high-priest by descend-
ancy, and as it was in the tribe of Aaron
that Phariseeism most flourished and had
its foundation among the priests, it is not
to be wondered that the nineteen-year-old
Josephus soon tired of the rigid habits of
the Essees, their toilsome work and frugal
living, and that when he had gone through
his term of trial found more pleasure in
the jolly life of the Pharisees, as much
more as these by hypocrisy and assumed
piety could take part in many worldly
amusements without thereby losing their
esteem among the people.
What we now will lay before the reader
is written by himself and ought to be suf-
ficient to show that he always harbored a
high degree of esteem and admiration for
170 The Crucifixion
**The doctrine of the Essees," says he,
''tends to learn all men that they confi-
dently may trust their fate in the hands
of God, as nothing happens without his
will. They say that the soul is immortal,
and they aspire to lead a righteous and
Indeed, they send their offerings to the
temple, but this they do, not because they
consider it in any way meritable, but be-
cause they consider it their duty to give
their share of the offerings, that the other
people shall not for their sake be oppressed
* ' They are the most honest people in the
world, and always as good as their word,
very industrious and enterprising, and
show great skill and concern in agriculture.
''But most of all are those venerated,
esteemed and admired who live in the wil-
derness, on account of the sense of justice
that they ever show and the courage and
intrepidity that they manifest in ever de-
fending truth and innocence. And this
Order of Essees 171
trait is not found in such a high degree
neither with the Grecian nor any other peo-
ple, but it has always characterized the
Essees from time inmiemorial.
**They exercise justice and equality in
their dealings with all people, have all their
property common, so that the rich does not
consume more of his riches than the poor
of his small means. In this way four thou-
sand people pass their life.
**They never marry, and keep no serv-
ants. They consider that marriage would
only create discord and rupture among the
brethren, and do not think it right that one
should be the slave or servant of the other,
as all men are brethren and God their
** Therefore do they live entirely sepa-
rate from women and serve and assist each
* * For accountants for the profits of their
agricultural labor and handiwork they
choose the most virtuous, honest and pious
of their brethren. These also perform the
172 The Crucifixion
service of priests and provide for all the
wants, as food and clothing. They all live
the same simple, industrious and frugal
life, and may be compared with the *Pal-
istas' of the *Dacies\''
In his work. Be Bello Judaico, 8 Chap.
2-13 vs., Josephus further writes :
^ * The third class of philosophers among
the Jews, and the class that is most
esteemed for their just and moral life, is
the so-called Essees or Esseens, that al-
though they certainly descended from the
Jewish people, yet show more amity and
love for each other than the other Jews,
and live a more moral life.
**They shun and despise sensuality as a
great sin, but consider a moral and tem-
perate life a great virtue, and pride highly
the strength of mind and the power to
overcome the passions and desires of their
** Therefore they subdue the sensual in-
stinct, but willingly adopt the children of
other people, and especially while these are
Order of Essees 173
very young, as they then are most suscepti-
ble to teaching and impressions.
* ^ They show great kindness to such chil-
dren, hold them dear, and teach them all
kinds of knowledge and science, morals and
* * They do not reject wedlock, but, to the
contrary, consider it necessary for the
propagation of mankind; but themselves
they want no intercourse with women, as
they fear of their unchastity and levity, be-
cause they consider that no woman gives
her affections to her husband alone.
**They despise riches and worldly gain,
and the equality of property among them
must be admired; therefore none of them
are seen to live in abundance nor in need.
**The laws of the Order regulate that
every one that enters into the Brotherhood
gives up to this all his property and wealth,
and therefore among them are neither seen
haughtiness nor slavish subjection ; but all
live together as brethren, sharing good and
174 The Crucifixion
**The ^Ointment with oil,' which the
other Jews praise so highly, they consider
to be without any sacred power or use, and
do not therefore use it, but to the contrary
cleanse themselves from it if any one of
their body should be touched thereby by an
**For the administration and account of
the common property, they elect inspectors
and directors, but in every other respect
they assist each other.
* ^ They do not live in any particular town,
but in every town the Order has its re-
spective * house' where the members take
their abode when they on their travels ar-
rive, and they are there supplied with all
they want. Everything is here to their dis-
position, as if in their own houses, and
here they are received as the best friends
and near relations by persons they never
**In every town there is an inspector,
who has in his care clothes and other neces-
sary things that he graciously distributes
to them who need such.
Order of Essees 175
**The Essees use their clothes until they
are worn out and can^t be used any longer.
They neither buy nor sell among them-
selves, but every member willingly gives
his brother what he needs of his, and is
again supplied by others with the needful ;
and even if he thinks he never can repay it,
he may without bashfulness receive it, as
this is a rule with them.
**The Esseen worship of God is grand,
sacred and majestic; and before the sun
rises and greets the earth with its beams,
they do not speak on earthly matters, but
read and send forth their sacred, humble
prayers that they have learned from their
fathers. The prayer over, the inspector
points out the work in which each one is
the most skilled.
** Having thus worked for five hours, do
they again gather, bathe themselves in cold
water, and don a white linen garb. Having
washed themselves, they proceed to the spe-
cial halls of the Order, where no one dare
come who does not belong to their Order.
176 The Crucifixion
** Having gone through the ceremonies
that the law prescribes, they proceed, per-
fectly cleansed, to their eating rooms
with the same reverence as if they entered
the holy temple.
*^ Everybody having taken his place in
supreme silence and stillness, the bakers
of the Brotherhood enter, distributing a
bread to each person after a certain order.
The cook sets before each one a plate of
vegetables and other eatables, and this
being performed, one of the priests steps
forth and holds a prayer, for they consider
it a grave sin to rest or touch food before
**The meal over, the priest reads an-
other prayer, and then the hymn of praise
is sung; and in this way they praise and
thank God, the giver of all good, both be-
fore and after the meal.
**They then take off their white aprons,
that they consider sacred clothes, and re-
turn to their work, which they pursue till
the twilight spreads over the earth.
Order of Essees 177
**Then they go to their frugal evening
meal again, during which they observe
the same ceremonies as at their dinner ; and
if members from foreign parts have ar-
rived, are they put in the chief places at
* ^ The meal is taken with the most solemn
silence and stillness, no noise nor dispute
disturbing the peace of the house.
* * They talk by turns, and in a low tone,
which will appear strange to those not used
to it. They observe great temperance in
their way of living, eat and drink only what
is necessary for their want.
**In general do they not act without thb
knowledge and consent of their inspectors
and director; but it is always left to their
own free will to exercise benevolence and
compassion to all in want, of all classes of
society, but it was not allowed them to give
any aid to their relatives without inform-
ing the inspector. But in other matters it
was allowed every member *To feed the
hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the home-
178 The Crucifixion
less, comfort the sick, visit, assist and com-
fort the prisoner, and comfort, aid and pro-
tect the widows and fatherless. '
**They never let themselves to be over-
come by anger, hatred, vengeance, or ill-
will. Indeed, they are the champions of
faith, truth and honesty, and the servants
and arbitrators of peace.
** Their *Yea' and *No' was with them as
binding as the most sacred oath, and ex-
cept the oath they take at their admittance
into the Order, they never bind themselves
through an oath, neither in their public nor
private life, for oaths and profanity are
with them as much shunned as perjury it-
self; and they consider that the man loses
his esteem among his fellow citizens whose
word is not sufficient without swearing.
'^They study with perseverance and in-
terest ancient writings, and especially pre-
fer such that are intended to indurate and
strengthen the body and ennoble and sanc-
tify the spirit.
''They have profound knowledge of the
Order of Essees 179
art of healing, and study it arduously ; ex-
amine and are acquainted with the medici-
nal herbs and plants, that they prepare as
medicine for man and beasts. They also
know the use and worth of minerals as
medicine, and do a great deal of good by
applying these for healing the sick.
** Anybody that wishes to belong to the
Brotherhood is not at once admitted, but
has first to pass a whole year of trial out-
side the same, and live according to certain
rules and regulations. If he during this
time has proved himself worthy through a
strictly moral and virtuous life, and tem-
perance, is he provided with a spade, an
apron, and a white garb; and now he is
again subjected to new trials, and, having
passed through these, he is sprinkled with
water, or * baptized,' as a sign of his spiri-
tual purity and liberation from material
** Having thus proved his chastity, and
being further tried in his strength of char-
acter and other qualities, and found to be
180 The Crucifixion
worthy, lie is at last admitted an actual
member of the Brotherhood. But before
he touches any food in the presence of the
Brotherhood, does he take this sacred vow :
* Above all things to fear God, of a true and
pure heart, exercise justice and honesty to
all men; neither of impulse nor influenced
by others, harm or hurt any man; during
all his life to shun injustice, and ever un-
daunted, further truth and justice.'
* * Further, he vows sacredly ever to obey
his worldly rulers, as nobody has the rule
without the will of God, and if he become
a ruler, does he vow not to misuse power,
and to set an example for his subjects by a
virtuous life, frugality and plain clothing.
He shall always love truth and shun false-
hood, preserve his mind from any impure
thought or impulse, and never stain his
hands with unjust gain.
'*For the third, he vows never to inter-
pret or explain anything of the laws of the
Order in any other spirit than he himself
has received it from the holy fathers and
Order of Essees 181
faithfully hide and take care of the books
and archives of the Order and according
to special regulation to keep secret the
name of the angels with whom the fathers
formerly stood in communion.
**This was the vow that every member
must take and which they considered so
sacred that they would rather suffer the
most violent death than to break it. The
member who broke his vow, or was catched
in the act of any crime or vice, or could
be proved to have committed the act, was
expelled from the Brotherhood, and his fate
was to be pitied; for if the Brotherhood
showed him no mercy, nor forgave and re-
ceived him again, he generally had to
starve to death, as the one who once had
offered himself up to the service of the
Brotherhood and sworn faithfully to sus-
tain and obey its laws and regulations,
broke his vow, could not receive any food,
aid or assistance of any one, but had gener-
ally to live in the deserts and forests and
there in the open air seek his support of
182 The Crucifixion
herbs, roots and wild fruit till death put an
end to his miserable life.
'*But often it happened that the leader
and brethren of the Brotherhood took
mercy upon him and again received him
into their meetings in the very moment
when this miserable was despairing and
near starvation, for they considered that a
man who was driven to despair and mortal
anxiety was punished enough for his crime.
*^In their administration of justice they
were indeed severe, but sincere and very
just. Nobody could be condemned by a
court of less than one hundred persons,
but a verdict that a majority of these ren-
dered was unchangeable in all cases.
** Besides Jehovah, the Creator of all,
they all also worshipped highly their
* Lawgiver' (This their Lawgiver was not
Moses, as many have supposed. The
Essees often spoke the name of Moses in
their conversations with the Grentiles, but
in their law it was strictly prohibited to
speak the name of their Lawgiver to any
Order of Essees 183
uninitiated), and he whoever contemptu-
ously spoke his name was punished with
^ * They had great esteem and veneration
for old age, and even considered it right
to agree to and respect the opinion of the
majority, as many eyes always see more
than two eyes.
They keep the Sabbath more punctually
and conscientiously than any other Jews,
and do no labor on the Sabbath, for they
not only prepare and cook their food
beforehand, that they may not be obliged to
make a fire on the Sabbath; but they also
did not dare touch or move from one place
to another the dishes in which was their
food and drink. Every time they had per-
formed their natural wants they washed
themselves, as if they thereby had become
unclean or stained.
**A11 the members of the Brotherhood
are grouped in four separate classes. The
youngest brethren are considered so in-
ferior in comparison with the elder, as re-
184 The Crucifixion
gards their inward purity, tliat the latter
again have to wash themselves if they hap-
pened to come in contact with the former,
as if they had been stained by the touch
of an unclean or uninitiated.
** Generally these people grew very old,
and I myself know several who have ar-
rived to an extraordinary old age; and I
presume this fact may be accounted for by
their temperate, laborious life, and strict
* * Their courage and uncommon tranquil-
ity cannot be disturbed by the greatest
calamities, adversities or troubles, for they
can bear suffering and pains with the
greatest calmness and strength of mind,
and in defense of anything good and just
they gladly prefer death for life.
*^ During the Eoman war they have in-
deed been subjected to great calamities,
suffering and excruciations. Many of them
have been put to the rack, and, living,
crushed by a wheel, burnt alive, or boiled
in great kettles, buried alive, crushed with
Order of Essees 185
millstones. Indeed, all conceivable instru-
ments of torture and suffering have been
invented and used to make them deny their
faith, deride their Lawgiver, or eat such
food as was prohibited by their law; but
all these efforts have been in vain. Un-
shaken in their determination, they have
suffered these excruciations in silence and
with great endurance; and many of them
have in the very pain rebuked their enemies
with the sharp sword of the word of truth,
and have then, to the great amazement of
the bystanders, in a calm mind and joyful
mien, given up the spirit in the firm belief
to see it again — for they have the firm be-
lief and faith that their bodies shall decay
and become dust, but that the souls are
immortal, and shall live eternally.*'
Josephus' words are: '^Opinio antem
apud Essenos firmata constitit, corrupti-
bilia guidem esse cor par a, animas antem
immortales semper remanere."
**They say that during the worldly life
the spirit is chained to the body like a pris-
186 The Crucifixion
oner in his cell, but when these chains
burst, by wear and decay, then the spirit
is freed from the bodily prison, and, al-
ready tasting the heavenly bliss, it soars
up to the bright kingdom of joy and peace.
** They. agree with the disciples of the
Grecian philosophers, that the pious
spirits, previous to their admission into the
joy of heaven, hover in space over the
waters, without being affected by rain,
snow, cold or heat.
^*They maintain that by the doctrine of
the immortality of the soul men are pro-
moted and encouraged to a virtuous life
and shun vice. Many of the Essees have
often stepped forth among the people as
prophets, and informed of things to hap-
pen, which has been easier to do for these
holy men, as they from their earliest in-
fancy study nature and the doctrine of
God; are instructed in goodly books and
the writings of the prophets, and grow in
wisdom and purity of heart. Their
presages often came true, and this in-
Order of Essees 187
creased their esteem with the people as
holy men and prophets.
* * There was still another class among the
Esseens who, although they corresponded
with the description of the Brotherhood in
general, as doctrines of religion, laws and
ceremonies, differed from them in regard
to wedlock. These latter consider that
everybody who does not marry hereby con-
tracts the propagenation and destination
of mankind, as men would soon cease to
exist if they lived by such rules.
* * But ere the members of this class mar-
ried, they put the one they had chosen for
their wife on a term of trial for three
years ; and if, after this threefold trial and
cleansing, the woman was found to be
chaste and faithful, and capable of bearing
children, they married her. They never
had sexual intercourse with the wife in her
pregnancy, thereby to show they had not
married from lust, but to fulfil the com-
mand of Jehovah, *Be fruitful, increase
and fill the earth.'
188 The Crucifixion
**Wlien the women bathe or wash them-
selves they are clothed in a linen garb, in
accordance with the men, who when they
bathe, wear an apron or a belt around the
waist. In whatever they do they exercise
great order and chastity, and rightly do
they deserve to be called an example for
the life of other people. ' '
Such is the description that the learned
Josephus gives of this interesting Brother-
hood, their doctrine, customs, ceremonies
and lives, according to what he himself has
found of his own observances within the
same; he having been admitted as a real
member after being tried for three years.
Another learned and authentic author is
an old Jewish philosopher called Philo, who
lived contemporary with Jesus, and dwelt
in Alexandria, who has given to posterity
a description of the Order of the Essees,
their doctrines, customs and ceremonies.
In several of his writings that have been
preserved to our day, he speaks of this
Brotherhood, and in his work, ^^Quod
Order of Essees 189
omnis vis prohus liher sW — Every truly
upright man is free.
He writes specially about the theoretical
Essees, or the so-called Therapeut (the
word ** Therapeut '' means a physician),
and his description of the Order corre-
sponding with Josephus, and thus we have
two authentic authors that correspond per-
fectly in their description of the doctrine,
life, customs and ceremonies of this Order.
According to the account of Philo, ' ' The
*Therapeuts' were Essees who, of their
own free will, retired into solitude, and who
from love of godliness and heavenly things,
passed their time in studying religion and
nature. They live in several places in Pal-
estine and Egypt, and in this last country
their greatest congregation was in the
vicinity of the city of Alexandria, in a
lovely valley by the Sea of * Moria, ' where
the air in this country is very mild and
**Here each one lived in their respective
houses, or rather huts, but so close to each
190 The Crucifixion
other that in time of danger the brethren
could call to each other and hasten to mu-
tual help and assistance.''
Among these Therapeuts there were oth-
ers who lived in solitude in deserts and
caverns, as, for example, Banus, whom
Josephus mentions; and to this class be-
longed most probably, John the Baptist,
(Luca Evang. 1 Chap. 63 v., Marc. 1 Chap.
4, and Matt. 3 Chap., 4 v.), for his habits
and mode of life correspond according to
the gospel with those of the Therapeuts.
Like the general members of the Order
of Essees he had disciples, whom he
brought up and instructed, but that the
New Testament does not directly record
John as a member of the Esseen Order nor
mention the same Order, this may easily
be explained by the circumstances that
every member of the Order had to take
a sacred oath at their initiation never to
divulge any of the secrets of the Order
to anybody that did not belong to it and
not to manifest himself a member of the
Order of Essees 191
Order in cases where it was not necessary.
That our Lord and Master, Jesus, took
John and his disciples into his service, goes
to show that he at least prized the noble
efforts of the Esseers for truth and justice,
and that their profound knowledge in the
science of nature and the scriptures of the
prophets, was known to him.
The Pharisees generally conceived the
scriptures of the prophets liberally, and
misunderstood altogether the spiritual
meaning thereof, as regards the coming of
Messias. But the Essees interpreted and
conceived the scriptures and prophecies of
the coming of Messias allegorical, viewing
the divine secrets earnestly and pro-
Therefore Jesus chose for his firm and
faithful disciples, the pious and unassum-
ing Essees, among whom John, the son of
Zacharias, was one of the most devoted
and best versed in the scriptures, who
stepped forth to proclaim the coming of
Messias in Christ. And with the most sin-
192 The Crucifixion
cere love, greatest perseverance, and firm
faith, did John seal and confirm this truth
through the cleansing by water, through
baptism (which with the Essees had the
double significance of both bodily and
spiritual purifying), and in Christendom
considered the first Sacrament.
Before a Neophite was admitted, or al-
lowed to appear before the Brotherhood,
having gone through the first trials, he had
to pass three days and nights in a lonely
grotto, in religious and solemn meditation.
For his sustenance he found frugal but
sufiicient food, consisting of fruits, bread
When this time was passed he was
brought to the Brotherhood in the evening,
immediately after the setting of the sun,
where certain questions were given him to
answer; and when he had there taken the
oath of initiation, the brotherly kiss passed
the round of the brethren, whereupon the
Neophite was dressed in the white garb,
as a sacred emblem of his purity of soul,
Order of Essees 193
as he now having consecrated himself to
Jehovah in the cause of truth and light.
The elder of the Brotherhood then in-
itiated him, saying: ** Beloved son, you
are consecrated to Jehovah, therefore
choose your path after his will; contend
ever undaunted for truth and virtue; try
and examine everything minutely and con-
scientiously, and having tried much, choose
the good and useful in life, and use it for
the good of yourself and your f ellowmen. ' '
Then he was given a spade and an apron,
and one of the elders of the Brotherhood
spoke as follows: '*The Brotherhood is
henceforth thy world, thy all, thy father
and mother, thy sister and brother; and
henceforth it is the duty of the Brother-
hood to care for thee, protect thee, and
guard thee, for hence thou art its beloved
Some of the priests then read the prayer
of the Brotherhood, and when he had pro-
nounced the last word, all the breth-
ren shouted in chorus: **Amen! Amen!
194 The Crucifixion
The usual hymn of praise was then sung,
and the brethren sat down to their frugal,
brotherly meal, or feast of love, but still
the Neophite was not allowed to sit by the
brethren's table, but had to take his place
by a special table in the presence of the
Now again came a trial of twelve months,
and when all the years of trials, three full
years, were ended, the Neophite was con-
sidered an actual member of the Brother-
hood, and then he was initiated and grad-
ually instructed in the doctrines and
secrets of the Order.
The Jews in general called this Brother-
hood,'* The Holy Brotherhood of the Chosen
Ones,'' or **Hasidees," that is, the pious,
or the *' Children of Peace," of whom
Jesus speaks on several occasions. In
Luke, 10 Chap. 5 v., when he says : ** Wlien
ye come into a house say first, 'Peace be
to this house.' And if the son of peace
be there, your peace shall rest upon it; if
not, it shall turn to you again."
Order of Essees 195
Likewise Nathaniel says to Jesus:
'* Whence knowest thou meT' Jesus ans-
wered and said unto him, ** Before that
Philip called thee, when thou wast under
the fig tree, I saw thee." Evang. John, 1
Chap., 48 v., and also do we refer to the
conversation with Nicodemus, John, 3
The brethren had their special signs,
and thereby recognized each other when
they met. These signs were: A certain
movement of the right hand, a grip, the
brotherly kiss, and the word of salutations
— ** Peace be with you my brethren''; and
it is significant that Jesus, on occasions
where he suddenly or unannounced stepped
forth among his disciples, always saluted
them with the words: ** Peace be with
you.'' Luke, 24 Chap., 36 v.; Matt. 20
Chap., 19-26 v.
The Essees represented their doctrines
to the younger members and brethren in
parables or allegorical form, thereby to
form and exercise the mind and sharpen
196 The Crucifixion
the thoughts, that they might gradually
get used to interpret the glorious doctrines
and truths that were hidden under the
Josephus says therefore, ^^ Maxima enim
'philosophic pars apud Essenos, prised ritu
per Allegorias traditur''; and we know
that the Master, Jesus, often made use of
the allegorical representation and parables,
when he would impress some moral com-
mandment or high idea in the hearts of his
disciples or the people, or some sacred
doctrine of his divine truths.
The moral commandments of the Essees
appear otherwise to be very much similar
to those which the ancient philosophers and
wise men teached, but still more similar
are they to the doctrines that Jesus
In my little work '^ Palestine in the time
of Jesus'^ I have, page 88, showed this by
Yes, the very fundamental command-
ments of the moral law of the Essees con-
Order of Essees 197
sists of the same words that are quoted
in Luc, 10 Chap., where it says: **And
behold a certain lawyer stood up and
tempted him saying, * Master what shall I
do to inherit eternal lifeT ''
He said unto him, **What is written in
the law? How readest thou?"
And he answering said, *'Thou shalt love
the Lord thy God with all thy heart and
with all thy soul and with all thy strength
and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor
And Jesus said unto him: ^^Thou hast
answered right. This do and thou shalt
Everybody that entered into the Broth-
erhood took the solemn vow, * ^ To love God
above all, and exercise love and justice to
The places within the borders of Pales-
tine where most of the Essees lived and
had their meetings in the time of John the
Baptist and Jesus, were the country round
Nazareth, the valley Achor near Betha-
198 The Crucifixion
bara, the country round the castle of Mas-
seda, the desert at Ephraim, the moun-
tainous country at Igutha, not far from
Hebron, the town Bethania by Jerusalem,
the valley at Thabor and the country sur-
rounding the stronghold Macherous, where
John afterwards was a captive and where
he by the command of Herod was beheaded.
Such was this remarkable Brotherhood,
within whose sacred association the true
God was worshipped and the doctrine of
true religion preserved in purity, truth
and spirit, in many centuries.
For this, their pure, unsophisticated
worship, this Brotherhood was renowned,
before, by, and after the time of Jesus;
and useful, indeed, did their firm faith in
God prove; for soon after the departure
of the Master came the times when they
were tempted, and when it was of need to
be firm in their faith.
After Jesus' departure was the Broth-
erhood subjected to the most severe
temptations, the greatest trials and perse-
Order of Essees 199
cutions. The Romans spread war and
desolation over the unlucky land of the
Jews, and with the horrors of the war
followed thousands of miseries. But none
were more persecuted than the pious
The Roman chiefs and soldiers invented
all conceivable kinds of tortures and ex-
cruciations, to make them mock and deny
God, but by none of all their barbaric
means did they succeed in shaking the
perseverance and firm faith of these pious
In the first fury of the war, many of the
Esseens who lived in the cities, had fled to
their brethren in the desert and the moun-
tains, and here hidden, could they in peace
and brotherly love, exercise their worship
of God, according to the teachings of the
Master, unharmed, in its purity and truth.
But soon their places of refuge were
discovered and traced by their enemies,
when they were driven out of their places
of concealment, and most of them fell
200 The Crucifixion
bloody victims to the fury and rage of the
With the greatest calmness, without
complaint or murmur, they suffered the
lengthened pains of death, and sealed the
Master's teachings with their blood.
But there were still many who, in spite
of the inventive means used hj the Eomans
to trace their ambuscades, remained undis-
covered, and thus were saved from a suf-
fering death, and these are just the fathers
of the Brotherhood, who have preserved in
its purity their doctrines, secrets, and the
knowledge that they themselves inherited
from wise fathers, and handed down to
their posterity, and these their doctrines
give the truest and greatest manifestation
of the greatness, wisdom and power of
God, and his inscrutable love to all men.
THE UNKNOWN LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST
By Nicolas Notovitch
Volume lY. Supplemental Harmonic Series
This Volume (from the pen of the noted Russian
traveler, Nicholas Notovitch) is a truly remarkable book,
and has created no little discussion among all classes of
people. The original manuscript of the text is reported
to have been found by him in a monastery in Thibet, and
corroborates the statements of the Great School, that
Jesus was in India during the years unaccounted for in
the New Testament.
Nicholas Notovitch is the first to advance and publicly
proclaim this fact, and he would seem to substantiate it
by the ancient documents found in the monastery of
Himes, all of which facts are now given to the World in
THE UNKNOWN LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
All earnest Christians who desire, and are brave enough
to learn and accept the truth, should possess this book;
for it fills the hiatus existing in the Bible story of the
Master, Jesus, and would seem to leave no room for
doubt as to its authenticity.
We are now able to give this book in a new and far more
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Price $1.00. Postpaid.
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This is an English publication and sets forth the
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has succeeded in accomplishing its purpose.
This book is, doubtless, the most exhaustless treatise
on this now vital topic ever written.
It contains ten chapters and 293 pages. It gives the
the history of
The Society of the Holy Cross.
The Secrecy of the Ritualistic Confessional.
The Secret History of "The Priest in Absolution."
The Order of Corporate Reunion.
The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.
Some other Ritualistic Societies.
The ROMEWARD Movement, etc., etc., etc.
The book is bound in cloth and sells for $1.00 post
THE GENIUS OF FREEMASONRY AND
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY CRUSADE
By J. D. Buck SS""
Volume 1. Supplemental Harmonic Series
This book is at once a sign and a summons to
every Masonic Brother who loves his Country, his Home,
his Family, and the Craft of which he is an honored
Every Brother Mason worthy of the name, however
exalted or humble he may be, owes it to himself to know
what this book contains.
Masonry is facing the most vital and crucial issue in its
The call is for men of courage*
Are y^ou willing to stand up and be counted? If not, you
WILL be after you have read this splendid book.
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THE GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL CRIME
Volume 11. The Harmonic Series
This book, with its fund of interesting and important
scientific data and helpful knowledge, was written by the
American Representative of that **venerable school
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of years, has influenced the civilization and work of every
great nation of Earth.
Its members have toiled for the advancement of the
human race from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness
to light, throughout the ages past.
The author's analysis of Hypnotism and Mediumship
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The author demonstrates that Hypnotism and Medium-
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No orthodox Christian, Spiritualist, Agnostic, Pro-
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THE BIBLE IN INDIA
By Louis Jacolliot
Volume 1. The Complemental Series
The underlying purpose of this work, which we may
truthfully call great is at once a protest against religious
despotism and a plea for freedom and common sense in
religious thought. The book traces back to India at
the Religions, Philosophies and Sciences of the world,
and shows that in ancient India we have the source of all
civilizations. In the author's preface he says, "To
religious despotism, imposing speculative delusions, and
class-legislation may be attributed the decay of nations."
Spain is in the midst of her revolution against wax
candles and holy water. Italy has not yet perfected the
consolidation of her unity.
Rome is preparing to denounce all conquests of modern
intelligence, freedom of thought, liberty of conscience,
civil independence, etc. Excommunication attempts to
revivify its impotent thunders, and once more to bind
emperors, kings and people to its yoke.
Poland exists no more; the muscovite sword has
realized the prediction of dying Kosciusco.
The Czar of Russia is Pope.
And yet — enter temple, church, or mosque — every-
where is intolerant persecution placed under the Aegis
of God. It is no longer Mediaeval fanaticism, for faith
is dead; it is hypocrisy that rummages the arsenals of the
past for arms, that they still have power to terrify the
people once more until they grovel on bended knees
in the dust of credulity and darkness.
The author spent years in travel, even to the remotest
parts of India, studied the language and dialects of the
people, noted their method of living and thereby tracing
the source of all religions to the parent stem, India.
It is indeed a very great book; it may shock the few,
but even they will lay the book down with reluctance.
Bound in black cloth, 325 pages. Price $2.00 Postpaid.
THE GREAT WORK
Volume 111. The Harmonic Series
This book is also from the pen of the author of "/i&e
great psychological crimed and is a presentation, analysis
and elucidation of the fundamental principle and working
formulary of the Great School of Natural Science, which
principle and formulary are known to the "Masters of
the Law" and their students and friends as the ^^con-
fittuctive principle of nature in individual life,^
The author of "The Great Work" is the American
Representative of the great school of natural science, a
School which was hoary with age when the foundation of
the great Pyramid was laid; a School which ante-
dates all present authentic history and records; a School
against which the waves of superstition and ignorance
have dashed in vain, because its foundation is the rock
To the intelligent freemason as well as the general
reader this book is invaluable, for it puts before him facts
in the history of that Ancient Order which heretofore
have been **buried in the rubbish of the temple-**
^'The great Work'' Is unique in that its statements
are verified facts which every reader may prove for him-
self under right guidance if he but have the "Intelligence
to know, the Courage to dare, and the Perseverance to
do." The Philosophy taught in this book appeals to both
Reason and Conscience, and is an inspiration to "//ve the
life and know the law,** Every student realizes that, if he
so wills, he may be an heir to theWisdom of the Ages»
The Great Work belongs in your Library,
Bound in maroon Interlaken cloth.
Price $2.00 Postpaid.
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